Assemblyman Ramos Helps Pass State Budget to Deliver Economic Security for Suffolk Families

Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) announced he helped pass the 2016-17 state budget, which invests in the success of working families by raising the minimum wage, implementing paid family leave and providing much-needed tax relief.

“A solid education and increased economic opportunities are at the core of our efforts to improve the quality of life in Suffolk,” said Ramos. “That’s why I fought to address the concerns of working families and truly make a difference in their lives with smart investments in this year’s state budget.”

Giving New Yorkers a raise

This year’s state budget provides for a significant minimum wage increase statewide. For Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour at the end of 2016 and by $1 each year after, reaching $15 per hour on Dec. 31, 2021.

“For too long, the cost of living has risen while wages have remained stagnant,” said Ramos. “Gradually increasing the minimum wage will help tackle this disparity and promote economic security for every hardworking family.”

Providing paid family leave

The budget includes a paid family leave provision that affords employees 12 weeks of paid leave per year to care for a newborn or family member in need. A small weekly employee contribution will allow workers to receive up to two-thirds of their salary during their absence, provided they have been employed for at least six months. The measure will be implemented incrementally starting in 2018 at 50 percent of weekly income, increasing to the full two-thirds of weekly pay in 2021.

Paid family leave will help ensure workers can take time off to care for a loved one without sacrificing their financial security, noted Ramos.

Strengthening the middle class

To further assist working and middle-income families, the budget allocates $1 billion over eight years for a personal income tax deduction beginning in 2018. The cuts will reduce the middle-class tax rate to 5.5 percent, resulting in savings for nearly 6 million New Yorkers, noted Ramos.

Providing support for youth

Additionally, the budget includes $20 million for “My Brother’s Keeper” to implement the Board of Regent’s recommendations from its Blue Ribbon Committee and Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. The program aims to help young people stay on track and provide them with more opportunities to succeed.

“It’s important that we ensure that at-risk youth have more opportunities to keep them on the right track, as well as giving those who are facing difficult circumstances every opportunity to succeed,” said Ramos