Governor Cuomo and state legislators continue talks in hopes of reaching a budget agreement on time for a third straight year. Lawmakers have agreed on a tentative plan to raise the minimum wage.
Minimum wage in New York State has been at $7.25 an hour since 2009 when the federal minimum wage set the bar. State lawmakers tentatively agreed to raise the bar to $9 dollars an hour over a three year period.
"Somebody like me, looking for a job and that short little change. And we try to struggle, take care our kids and our family, we need that. We really do. Hope our government and legislators stand by their word. I hope they do, said William Jackson, Rochester.
The deal would raise minimum wage to $8.00 an hour next year. The wage would rise again to $8.75 in 2015 and to $9.00 by the start of 2016.
Folks seeking employment and career opportunities here at Rochesterworks! seem to welcome an increase.
"Well with the way the times are right now, anyways, I think it's a fair raise. I mean it would be great to go higher, but with the way things are anyways it's just fair that we get a raise, regardless," said Maria Santana, Rochester.
New York would join eighteen other states with minimum wages above the federal minimum as of the start of this year. The $9 minimum wage would be one of the highest in the country.
"I think it's good in some ways. As long as it doesn't affect the economy. Because, minimum wage goes up, then prices go up. So, in some ways it could have a negative affect on everything going on," said Mike Mason, Rochester.
The developing agreement on the minimum wage came as the governor and lawmakers continued to negotiate over the fine points of an overall state spending plan which must be approved by April 1, 2013.