Weighing In On Changes

By Alice Maggiore

May 15, 2012 Updated May 15, 2012 at 11:51 PM EDT

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New Yorkers will have to wait to see whether the state's minimum wage will see a hike for the first time since 2009. While the Assembly says yes, the Senate says no to the proposal.

Under the proposed bill, the minimum wage would jump $1.25, from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour starting in January 2013.

In 2014, the price would go up again to $9.25.

After that, the increases would be based on inflation, and reevaluated each year.

Opinions are mixed.

Some employers fear they will have to let some employees go, in order to pay others more.

Others argue the increase in minimum wage may mean those who earn $7.25 an hour now may no longer be eligible for government subsidies.

"This is the exact position we took in 2004 last time the minimum wage was done. We didn't oppose it then because it was staggered over 3 years and there was no automatic escalator every year after that. Now does that mean we have to come back to the table more often, sure let's do that. Let's look at what the current conditions are and the needs are," says Ted Potrikus, of the Retail Council.

"Even raising it to 8.50 is still not a livable wage. $8.50 is only $1.25 more," says Rebecca Fuentes, a supporter of the minimum wage increase.

Raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour would cost an extra $2900 per full-time employee next year.

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