ALBANY, NY (WENY) — In her state of the state address Tuesday, Gov. Hochul promised to help New Yorker’s keep up with the cost of living by indexing the minimum wage and tackling other elements of affordability including childcare and housing.
But some advocates feel Hochul’s policy changes fall short in addressing New York’s affordability crisis.
“Yesterday’s state of the state was lacking in a path that provided details on how to get there in several areas,” said Rebecca Garrard, Legislative Director of Citizen Action of New York.
The Governor’s proposals to index minimum wage plans to automatically increase the minimum wage to keep up with inflation. After $15 per hour, each regions minimum wage will increase consistently with the year-over-year consumer price index.
Garrard said while this will be beneficial, it doesn’t address the issue immediately.
“We need an increase in this moment that puts New Yorker’s in a place where someone working a full time job can afford to put a roof over their head, can afford to feed their family, before we rely solely on indexing,” she said.
Some experts said that significantly raising the base pay for minimum wage could be concerning for businesses.
“There’s never any relief in the labor law world, it’s just mandate after mandate after mandate. And particularly for small businesses that may not have full time HR staff to deal with this, it becomes really burdensome,” said Ken Pokalsky, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Business Council of New York State.
The index minimum wage proposal will be hammered out along with the Governor’s other state of the state proposals in the 2023 fiscal budget.
The final day for the Governor to submit her executive budget is Feb. 1. Then state lawmakers will begin the review process.