10.3.22 Advocacy Alert: NY to Increase Minimum Wage Again
October 3, 2022
The New York State Department of Labor announced plans to raise the minimum wage in upstate to $14.20/hour, a one-dollar increase.
The proposed increase will go through the formal rulemaking process. The state is accepting public comments through December 11th, which can be emailed to email@example.com, though the BNP does not expect any amount of disapproving public comments to derail the proposal. The increase will take effect December 31.
If the state proceeds with the increase, it would be the tenth consecutive year the state has increased the minimum wage. Under statute, annual increases are authorized to take place until the minimum wage reaches $15 in all regions of the state.
The increase was recommended based on a statutorily required report conducted by the Division of Budget. The report correctly notes that “entry-level wages are rising above the minimum wage floor due to the fierce competition for workers.” 13.7% of upstate workers earned the minimum wage pre-pandemic; only 5.9% of upstate workers earn the minimum wage now.
However, instead of acknowledging that market forces and competition for workers are already driving wage growth, the state concluded that wages must grow by government order, too.
Farm Overtime Threshold Lowered
In another Friday afternoon release, the Department of Labor also announced it would lower the overtime threshold for farm laborers from 60 hours to 40 hours per week. The change will be phased in gradually over a ten-year period. The increase was authorized by the 2019 Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act.
The New York State Legislature gaveled out for the final time of the 2023 legislative session. Although a special session is possible before the end of the year, no major legislative push is expected.
Although much of the most impactful legislation being debated was tabled until next year, many important bills were passed in the waning days of session.
All eyes are on Albany as the Legislature enters the final two weeks of the 2023 legislative session. Amid the hundreds of bills that will pass in the coming days, the BNP is keeping an eye on the following issues:
State lawmakers recently approved the 2023 state budget. In total, the budget will spend $229 billion – a record amount and a 33% increase in spending since 2019.
New York’s 2023 state budget includes a ban on fossil fuel equipment and building systems in new construction. The ban creates major concerns about energy affordability and reliability.