(WBNG Binghamton) As state lawmakers debate a minimum wage increase to $9 per hour, one federal lawmaker wants to take it even further, bringing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour across the nation.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in New York alone, this minimum wage boost would bring in $3.2 billion in wage increases.
She said this could boost consumer spending and help ease the strain on public assistance programs.
Nearly 1.8 million New Yorkers are currently earning minimum wage or just above, with 55,000 of these workers are right here in the Southern Tier.
"It's disgraceful that someone who works those 40 hours a week is earning $3,000 below the poverty line. And the average minimum wage earner is an adult...it's often someone who has children," said Gillibrand.
The minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.
If passed the increase would be implemented in three 95 cent increases and be indexed to inflation.