Cuomo pushed for minimum wage hike, but dropped 'indexing'

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
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— The push to increase New York’s minimum wage affecting millions of workers got a boost and hit a snag in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget.

Cuomo’s inclusion of the bill in his 2013-14 budget proposal muted some opposition and makes a deal appear to be within reach. Items in a governor’s budget rarely get dropped completely in negotiations with legislative leaders.

But Cuomo’s plan to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75 also dropped a provision that would “index” the wage to inflation.

That pleases Republican leaders, but rankles Democrats, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who pushed for indexing.

Yet Cuomo’s proposal is the kind of compromise that could finally get the long-blocked bill passed.

Indexing the minimum wage means adjusting it automatically each year -- usually by a few cents -- to keep pace with the rising cost of living. About a dozen states in the nation have adopted indexing.

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