Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has, now officially, proposed hiking the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour and indexing it to inflation — meaning that the minimum wage would rise automatically over time, so long as the economy's growing.
The minimum wage now stands at $7.25.
Our state legislative delegation, like on many issues, is split on this one along party lines. Assemblywoman Addie Russell, D-Theresa, has said she supports it to help the struggling working poor, while Republican Sens. Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush have said they don't support it. The Republicans have said they fear the effect that a minimum wage hike would have on businesses, especially on small businesses and the jobs they provide.
It should be a surprise to just about nobody that a farm group is against a hike in the minimum wage.
Here's Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau.
“When the government imposes costs on a business that the market does not dictate, we typically call this a tax."
Mr. Norton also alluded to "the price of our products" being at stake.