Minimum Wage At End Of Year Despite Pandemic Economic Damage

FILE – This April 3, 2019, file photo shows a tip box filled with U.S. currency in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

New York lawmakers are moving ahead with a minimum wage hike in the state despite the economic effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, the hike is set to take effect on December 31 and will boost wages in different parts of the state between 70 cents and $1 an hour.

The State Department defended the action, while noting some markets are leading the state’s recovery.

Business advocates and state Republicans, however, have called for a pause in the hike. They cited the devastation to local businesses during the pandemic.

“I think a better way that New York could make things work is stop this ridiculous regulation that we put on our small businesses,” said state Rep. Chris Tague (R). “You know, if our small businesses had an easier route to success, they’d be able to afford to pay their employees more money.”

The increase is part of a tiered schedule adopted in 2016 with the eventual goal of $15 per hour across the state.

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