Thousands of union members and activists rallied on the Empire State Plaza in Albany yesterday to support the “Fight for 15” to raise the minimum wage. Governor Cuomo spoke to the crowd under the banner for he “Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice.” Cuomo is pushing for the minimum wage hike which is proposed to be phased in over several years. He wants it included as part of the upcoming budget. Senate Republicans have not included language for the minimum wage in their budget. Cuomo again rejected calls for added funds for health and human services agencies with state contracts to cover the costs of the wage hike.
Cuomo also pushed for paid family legislation as part of the “pro-worker” agenda. The Governor, Senate and Assembly are closer on that issue. While the Senate put language in its one house budget bill that is very similar to the Governor’s and Assembly’s language, the Senate passed a resolution on Monday that seeks modifications to accommodate small business.
Today, the budget conference committees begin meeting in Albany to discuss spending in each of the program areas.