Cuomo: Minimum wage increase included in budget
Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New York's $135 billion budget includes a three-year minimum wage increase, topping out at $9 and hour in 2015. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the agreement "in concept" on the 2013-2014 budget just after 8 p.m., Wednesday. Cuomo said the budget includes increases on the state's minimum wage -- which currently stands at $7.25 an hour -- beginning at the end of this year at $8 an hour. If approved, minimum wage would jump to $8.75 in 2014 and to $9 an hour by the end of 2015, Cuomo said Wednesday. Cuomo also said the two-year budget includes tax cuts for small businesses and middle class families. Although he did not provide details on how taxes would be cut for either, he said middle class families making between $40,000 and $300,000 per year would qualify. Sen. Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) said his biggest complaint was with the minimum wage increase, but praised some of the items that came with it. "We made sure we tried to protect certain restaurants so the tip wage did not go up by a dollar like was proposed. We also are going to give businesses who hire workers under the age of 20 a tax credit for the increase in the minimum wage they had to pay," said Libous. Cuomo said budget bills would begin being printed as early as Wednesday evening, with voting starting as early as Saturday or Sunday. He said legislators are "on track" to have a finalized budget by the April 1 deadline.