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MINIMUM WAGE

7/30/04 A.11760/S.7682 was passed by both houses on July 21, 2004 and delivered to the Governor on July 22, 2004. Governor Pataki vetoed the bill on July 29, 2004. TBC's News.

Assemblywoman John introduced A.11698 which would raise the state's minimum wage in three steps to $7.25/hr. by January 1, 2006. This bill is the same as her A. 9710  but adjusts the increases upward. It passed the Assembly on 6/22/04. There is no Senate companion bill.

6/11/04 Early in the session, TBC met with staff of the Assembly and Senate Labor Committees and, along with other association representatives, about a dozen Senators to express our opposition to increasing the state's minimum wage. For the last few months, the newspapers have talked more about the minimum wage than the Legislature. However, as we near the end of the session, we expect the issue to again rear its head.

Issue:

On July 20, 2004, A.11760/S.7682 was introduced in both houses. This was a compromise to the other minimum wage bills described below. It proposed an increase of the minimum wage from the current $5.15/hr. to $6.00 on 1/1/05 and finally to $7.15/hr. on 1/1/07. It also included increases for food service workers in wages and food and lodging allowances.

A.9710 (John) passed the state Assembly on March 1, 2004 on a 127/19 vote. It would raise the state's minimum wage to $6.00/hr. on October 1, 2004, $6.75/hr. on July 1, 2005 and finally $7.10/hr. On January 1, 2006. The bill also proposes changing the state labor law by allowing labor unions to be defined as "employee advocates" and thus allowing them to represent nonunion employees on minimum wage issues before the state labor Commissioner. Unlike past Assembly minimum wage proposals, this bill does not contain an automatic annual indexing provision. TBC's memo in opposition.

In the Senate, S.3291 (Velella) went through several modifications during February and March. S.3291-C remains in the Senate Labor Committee. This bill would increase the state's minimum wage to $6.00/hr. on January 1, 2005, $6.75/hr. on September 1, 2005 and finally $7.10/hr. on September 1, 2006. S.3291-C also calls for the creation of a task force to study the issue of indexing the state minimum wage. TBC also memoed the bill.

Status:
8/11/04

The Assembly overrode Governor Pataki's veto by a vote of 129-19. No action from the Senate.