Cuomo’s proposal of a $15 minimum wage, if accepted, would be fully implemented by the end of 2018 in New York City, and several years later in other parts of the state. The wage would rise incrementally over the designated time frame in order to allow businesses to adjust.
The proposal’s opposition fears that the increase is too steep and may force businesses to raise prices or lay off employees due to an inability to afford the higher labor costs. Some New York business groups are strongly against the idea and have no interest in compromising, while others have suggested a slower phase-in or exemptions that would allow small businesses to pay less for labor.
Discussions with the Senate have included a possible minimum wage of $12.50 or $13 an hour as a compromise; other discussions have involved phasing in the $15 rate over eight or nine years as opposed to Cuomo’s two.
Despite the talk of compromise, Governor Cuomo stays “cautiously optimistic.” He told NY Daily News reporters on Sunday, “We’re not at a closure, but the direction is good. The conversations have been positive.”
Individuals in the United States who are working minimum wage jobs remain hopeful that this amendment could bring about a positive change to the economy as well as to their own financial situations. Today, the majority of Americans are in some sort of debt; among those, the average household carries $129,579 in total debt. An increase in the minimum wage could mean pulling many Americans out of the financial sinkhole, allowing them to participate and contribute in their local economies.