Currently, minimum wage in New York is $8.75 and is scheduled to increase to $9 on Dec. 31. The governor’s announcement comes on the heels of him convening a labor-board panel earlier this year that recommended increasing minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food workers by 2018 in the city and 2021 upstate. If the governor’s latest proposal, which affects all workers, is approved, New York will have the highest state minimum wage in the country.
So far several other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, have passed laws to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Currently, the highest statewide minimum wage is in Washington at $9.47.
The governor’s push for a $15 minimum wage indicates a shift in his stance on the issue. Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested raising New York City’s minimum wage to more than $13 an hour, to which Gov. Cuomo’s administration said that the state legislator would reference that as a “non-starter.” The governor himself had suggested $11.50 for New York City and $10.50 statewide.
Vice President Joe Biden will join Gov. Cuomo during his minimum wage announcement on Thursday at the Javits Center in New York. So far, the White House has expressed their support for raising wages to $12 an hour, but has said little about $15.