ALBANY Several labor unions claim campaign contributions by Walmart prompted the unusual provision of a subsidy for employers faced with a higher minimum wage in New York.
Senate Republicans call the claim nonsense.
Republican spokesman Scott Reif says Monday the subsidy was a legislative compromise to avoid losing jobs as a result of increasing the minimum wage.
In March, the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved increasing minimum wage to $9 an hour over the next three years. The current minimum wage is $7.25.
The law includes a taxpayer-funded subsidy estimated at $20 million to $40 million a year with no cap on the payments.
That will cover tax credits for employers who hire seasonal employees who are 16 to 19 years old and still in school.