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minimum wage

January 17, 2019 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, business, news, minimum wage.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

New York State’s minimum wage increased again this year to $11.10 per hour and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) vocalized concern that sharp increases year-to-year are unsustainable for upstate’s struggling small businesses.

Employers already face the nation’s worst tax business climate and a state regulatory code that forces more outsourcing of jobs, transition to automated labor and loss of benefits for employees.

“Certainly we want to help the working poor and employees making minimum wage across the state but these sharp increases are like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg,” Hawley said.

“Misguided policies like these overlook the fact that small businesses will be forced to recoup these increasing labor costs and that could lead to massive layoffs and a cut to benefits for many employees – a regrettable consequence of the law’s intention.”

The Assembly Minority Conference has proposed wiser economic solutions such as allowing employers to pay a training wage to new employees that is more congruent with their skill sets.

Many lawmakers have also come out in support of raising the tipped wage for workers such as servers, a proposal met with animosity by the tipped workers it is meant to help.

“The minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage and many employers are now mandated to pay higher costs for employees with less experience,” Hawley continued.

“Employees like restaurant servers rely on the quality of their service and dedicated work ethic to bring home larger tips and an elimination of this would remove the incentive to provide quality service for these workers.

“If we are to change New York’s awful business climate and stop our state’s embarrassing exodus rate it starts with tax and regulatory relief that mitigates the root cause of business struggles, not quick fixes and economic gimmicks,” Hawley concluded.

March 21, 2016 - 6:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in minimum wage, agriculture, news.

Press release:

Small business owners and family farmers joined together today at a press conference in Batavia to ask state lawmakers to oppose the $15 minimum wage. The April 1st budget deadline is just days away, and the coalition remains united in its efforts to defeat what will be a tough blow to local employers.

The consequences of a 67-percent wage hike are far reaching. The small businesses shared their personal stories of what this will mean to each of them, including the decisions that will have to be made to compensate for the major increase in labor costs. A reduction in the number of employees and an increase in automation are on the table should this proposal pass in Albany.

The impacts will be felt statewide. A recent report conducted by the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, found that at least 200,000 jobs will be lost across the state. A separate independent analysis by Farm Credit East estimates a $15 minimum wage in New York State would cost farmers between $387 and $622 million in 2021 at the peak of the wage rollout and nearly 2,000 farms would no longer be profitable.  Businesses that can’t make money, don’t stay in business.

Because of the statewide ramifications, today’s event coincided with more than a dozen others happening in communities across New York. It is a final push to make the compelling point to lawmakers that there are serious consequences, from job loss to higher consumer prices, should New York pass a $15 minimum wage. The small business owners asked their local lawmakers to vote no on $15.

“Businesses will be forced to raise prices to compensate. As a farmer, I cannot do this. I am a price taker not a price maker. This will make me uncompetitive with surrounding states, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, whose labor costs will be half what they are in New York. This will put some farms out of business or force them to move to a different state which will hurt our economy,” said Pat McCormick, NYFB District 2 Director and dairy farmer from Java Center.

March 16, 2016 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, minimum wage.

Submitted photo: Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [second from left] joins members of the Assembly Minority Conference to call for alternatives to a $15-per-hour minimum wage increase.

Press release:

Following a press conference held by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua), Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has denounced the governor’s plan to raise New York’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, citing the devastating impact on small businesses and other  job creators.

“As a four-decade small-business owner and one who has grown his company from the ground up, I know what we need to jumpstart New York’s stagnant business climate, and a 67-percent minimum wage increase will not work,” Hawley said.

“I understand that there are many working poor in our state who are doing everything they can to get by on the current minimum wage, but the consequences of this sharp increase would have the reverse of its intention: causing hundreds of thousands of jobs to be eliminated, companies to move out of state, and consumer prices to increase.”

Hawley proposed several solutions that would help the working poor directly without hindering small businesses or adversely affecting jobs.

“I understand that there are many New Yorkers living paycheck to paycheck and I want to help them, too,” Hawley said. “I sponsor A.9102, which would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which hasn’t been adjusted in 12 years.

"This is estimated to introduce more than 14,000 New Yorkers into the workforce without damaging our business community. I also sponsor, A.7486, which would allow the EITC to be distributed in installment payments to help the working poor with monthly expenses.”

August 27, 2009 - 8:09pm
posted by Bea McManis in minimum wage, Ted Kennedy, working people.

Davie Ohlson made the comment that Senator Kennedy didn't know about working people.  He may not have worked in a minimum wage job, but he sure as heck fought for those who did.

July 28, 2008 - 9:50am

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will "deliver an unprecedented special address" to announce that the state is in the worst fiscal crisis in three decades. The announcement is expected sometime this week, and the New York Post claims that Paterson will cite "plunging state revenues" as the reason for the crisis and the forthcoming cuts in state services and personnel.

He may also call a special session of the Legislature to propose reducing some of the record-high levels of spending that were approved as part of the state's new budget in April.

"The situation is worse than anyone realizes," said a source close to Paterson.

"The governor has said he's tired of the state going from deficit to deficit, spending like it has a credit card that never has to be paid, and that he's prepared to take action," the source said.

In the meantime, the New York Times reported earlier this year that state legislators were hankering after a 20 percent pay raise.

New York legislators are looking for a raise of as much as 22 percent, saying the $79,500 base salaries they earn are not enough.

But an examination of state records shows that most make considerably more than their base salary. With extra pay for chairmanships and other posts, they earn just over $90,000, on average, for what is widely considered a part-time job; the Legislature is in regular session for 63 days a year.

And more than a third earn more from outside employment, often as lawyers in their hometowns, but they are not required to disclose how much or from what clients.

Not long after, the New York Sun reported that state judges, now, were asking for a raise.

A state judge has ordered Governor Paterson and the Legislature to start paying him and his 1,180 fellow state jurists more money.

If each judge on the state bench received the $600,000 sought by the four plaintiffs, the state's taxpayers would be on the hook for more than $700 million. The order by Judge Edward Lehner of state Supreme Court in Manhattan appears to instruct the Senate and Assembly to pass a law upping judges' pay within 90 days, which could prove an impossibly fast time frame for slow-moving Albany.

What prompted the request?

Judges on the state's main trial court make $136,700 a year, plus benefits.

Even though salaries for New York state judges are close to the national average, the judges say that the cost of living in New York is higher, and they argue that federal judges and corporate lawyers are paid more.

New York's chief judge, Judith Kaye, filed a suit on behalf of the entire judiciary in April seeking a pay raise order of the type Judge Lehner issued yesterday. But yesterday's decision came in an earlier lawsuit filed jointly by four judges seeking more than $600,000 each. That money, the say, represents the cost-of-living increases that they haven't received over the years, plus interest.

As for your run-of-the-mill hourly worker, the median income in 2007 was about $25,000, and an employee who made no more than the minimum wage — $7.15 per hour — earned less than $15,000 and likely brought home barely more than $10,000.

The median wage paid to the 4.1 million hourly workers in the state was $12.03 last year, meaning that more than two million New Yorkers earned less than that, the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. That was about equal to the median national hourly wage of $11.95 — about $25,000 a year for a 40-hour work week.

See the article by Patrick McGeehan in the New York Times for the full story.

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