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Minimum wage hike faces new challenges

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— When New York legislators return to Albany next week, they will face new challenges in the proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage.

The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposes raising that to $8.75 an hour, while Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants it raised to $8.50 then linked to inflation.

But a year’s worth of rallying and negotiations has at least been given pause now that President Barack Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.

The battle in New York will be in the Senate. Republicans who share control of the majority want to see how Obama’s effort fares first.

Cuomo also prefers a nationwide minimum wage increase so states are not pitted against each other.

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