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  • Cuomo Denies Rumors Of A Special Minimum Wage Session

    In response to growing speculation, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo denied Wednesday that he plans to call a special session to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    Reports have indicated that Cuomo wants to hold the special session in December. Time Warner Cable News, among others, noted his own staff have been saying as much. The idea would be to hold it before the election to help get some Republican approval. Cuomo, however, is adamantly denying the claims.

    “I haven’t heard anyone ever suggest a special session on the minimum wage,” Cuomo said, according to the local affiliate of NPR. “I’ve never heard anyone put it in to rule it out.”

    Cuomo denied the claims after business groups began voicing their concerns. Some fear holding a session so soon wouldn’t leave critics time to voice their views and complaints. Cuomo first announced on Sept. 10 his plan for raising the state minimum wage. If enacted, the increase will gradually put New York City to the $15 mark by 2018, and the rest of the state by 2021.

    Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have gone higher. Seattle led the way in passing the $15 minimum wage back in June 2014. San Francisco and Los Angeles followed not long after. Each local ordinance phased in the new wage over the course of several years. Thus far, no state has passed a $15 minimum wage.

    While supporters argue it will help the poor by allowing them to more easily afford basic necessities, critics say it may actually hurt the poor by limiting job opportunities. Even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) agrees any increase of the minimum wage will likely result in at least some job loss.

    The push for a minimum wage of $15 an hour has been led primarily by union-backed groups like Fight for $15. The group has utilized media marketing campaigns and rallies in its efforts. It is highly influenced and funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

    Some unions plan to spend several million dollars to promote the increase. The SEIU Local 1199 has already launched a television spot supporting it.

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