minimum wage

William Hartz / Flickr

A state panel is examining whether workers whose income is supplemented by tips should receive an increase in the minimum wage. The wage board, appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has held hearings and will make its decision early next year.

Karen Dewitt

Advocates of raising the minimum wage see hope in recent statements by the leader of the state Senate, and hope a deal can be struck by the end of the year.

Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos, whose party will control the Senate in January, says while he thinks the state’s gradual increase of the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour next year is good enough, he’s willing to at least discuss raising it higher. Skelos, after meeting with Republican members, says he also wants a pay raise for senators.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins wants the minimum wage for New York workers to be nearly doubled.

Hawkins, the perennial political activist and UPS worker, is calling for the state’s minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

It’s $8 right now and on track to rise to $9 by the end of next year. Hawkins says that should also go for tipped workers, who right now make a base salary of just $5 an hour, something the state is considering.

An increase in the minimum wage reduces poverty and takes a burden off of welfare programs, he argues.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Most New Yorkers earning the minimum wage are seeing their pay increase slightly, but that doesn't go for those in the service industry who receive tips.

The state's minimum wage will be $9 an hour at the end of next year. It will stay flat for servers and other tipped workers at $5 an hour, plus those tips.

Now the state labor department is considering raising the tipped minimum wage, but restaurant owners are worried it will have a negative ripple effect.

William Hartz

Advocates for a higher minimum wage are urging for better wages for workers who rely on tips. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to create a committee to consider raising the minimum rate for the workers, and the groups say they have evidence that an increase is needed.

Currently, tipped workers in New York are not covered under a new law that allows the state’s minimum wage to increase to $9.00 an hour by 2016.  The minimum wage for workers like waiters and pizza deliverers who receive tips is still set at $5.00 an hour.

The state’s minimum wage is now $8 an hour, after a new law took effect Dec. 31. It’s part of a phased-in increase that will result in a $9 an hour rate for the state’s lowest income earners by 2016. But a leading lawmaker says the hike should be phased in faster, and advocates that tip earners, like wait staff, should also be included.  

A number of new state laws take effect in New York Jan. 1.  They include a few tax cuts and tax breaks, and even a new regulation that could impact the health of baby boomers.

Hitting the books in the new year are the first of three new tax cuts for small businesses and an additional nearly 10 percent tax cut for manufacturers.  Middle-income families are also getting tax relief in 2014. That affects people who make between $40,000 and $300,000 a year and who have at least one dependent child.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Cities across the country saw strikes Thursday as part of a campaign by fast food workers to raise the federal minimum wage. The movement faces strong opposition both within and outside the fast food industry.

Walkouts were planned in at least 100 cities in support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, roughly $15,000 per year for a full-time job.

The fast food industry claims that raising wages would be difficult without bumping up the prices on their menus too.

A new report on the status of workers finds the period since the 2008 market crash may turn out to be a “lost decade” for New Yorkers, as wages stagnate and the average time for unemployment lengthens.

The state legislature is finished voting on a $141.3 billion state budget, with the Assembly completing it's work shortly before midnight on Thursday. The final passage occurred one week past lawmakers’ s self-imposed deadline, but three days before the spending plan was actually due to be finished. 

It's known as the “three men in a room” style of decision making. For decades now, the governor and the two party's legislative leaders meet behind closed doors in the governor’s offices and decide key issues, like the contents of the state budget.

The state budget is on track to be finished on time, and before the March 31 deadline, now that all of the spending bills were finally printed shortly before midnight on Monday.

The New York State Senate held a rare Sunday session at the Capitol, in an attempt to get the state budget finished on time in the midst of major religious holidays.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's junior senator is staging a fight to raise the federal minimum wage to more than $10 an hour.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed to a framework for a new state budget Wednesday evening, but say they are still working out many of the details.

The New York state budget is crawling to a conclusion, as legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo continue closed door meetings to try to strike a final deal.

New York state lawmakers are close to agreeing on a new spending plan that would include a deal to raise taxes on the wealthy and raise the minimum wage.  They failed to seal a pact Monday night, but say they will be back Tuesday morning to try again.

State lawmakers are hurrying toward getting a budget agreement in place, with a stepped-up schedule of conference committees and meetings with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But the governor is throwing cold water on striking a deal by the weekend.

The New York State Senate has included raising the state’s minimum wage in its one-house budget resolution. But that’s not necessarily a signal that a wage increase is moving forward in the state spending plan.

A new Siena College poll finds a slight drop in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s popularity for the third month in a row. The poll finds the governor’s popularity has dropped to 64 percent -- still higher than most politicians in the country -- but an eight point slide from a 72 percent approval rating in  December.

The hearings are over; the New York State Assembly and Senate have put together their respective spending plans. Now this week, lawmakers in Albany get down to the details of hammering out a state budget that both chambers can agree on. Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco of Syracuse believes it can be done before the April 1 deadline.

The New York State Assembly voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour, but the measure is stalled in the state Senate.

With just three weeks and one day to go before a state budget deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders met to assess how far they have to go to reach a deal.

New York State lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol Wednesday following a two-week break for the President’s Day holiday.  Lawmakers have plenty to work on in the next few weeks leading up to the start of the state’s fiscal year, including whether to pass a minimum wage hike as part of the state budget.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made several changes to his budget plan in what are called 30-day amendments. These amendments range from imposing a teacher evaluation plan on schools in New York City, to cutting the cost of hunting licenses.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed raising the minimum wage as part of his budget plan, even though the increase would not cost New York State any money.  That tactic might make it easier for the proposal to become law.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $142 billion state budget, that includes federal aid for post Superstorm Sandy recovery, and closes a $1.3 billion dollar budget gap.

Matt Ryan/WMHT

In anticipation of the annual State of the State address, a coalition of progressive groups held their 23rd annual People's State of the State on the steps of the Capitol in Albany.

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they are reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation’s safety net for the poor. In a new report on New York’s charitable food distribution system, the groups say it is government that needs to step in and lend a helping hand.

The newly-formed coalition of Republicans and Democrats, who will run the New York state Senate for the new term starting in January, made their first public appearance. They responded to criticism that the new majority coalition leaves out blacks and Hispanics. 

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