Minimum Wage Hike Will Kill Jobs

As New York’s economy continues to lag, proposals to again raise the minimum wage show a lack of foresight and will do more harm than good. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing for a $10.50 statewide wage and an $11.50 wage in New York City. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants even more, and is pushing for a wage that would be as high as $15 an hour by 2019 with additional increases based on inflation.
 
These proposals will not only inhibit job growth, but could actually force small businesses to lay off employees they will no longer be able to afford. I urge legislative leaders to think about the negative economic implications of these proposals. Minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage, and we will not create jobs if we make it more costly to hire workers.
 
SMALL BUSINESSES NEED A BREAK
 
In 2013, New York lawmakers approved a minimum wage hike that jumped to $8.75 at the end of 2014.  It will rise again to $9 an hour on Dec. 31 of this year. Before the incremental raises even began to take place, shortsighted calls for another increase were getting louder. I was critical then and am increasingly disturbed now by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other misguided lawmakers who are not focused on the real issues hampering our economy— high taxes, over-regulation, onerous mandates and a lack of jobs. Raising the minimum wage will ultimately do more to strangle the economy than help it flourish.
 
There are upcoming budget hearings on taxes and economic development and it is my sincere hope that together we can derive real solutions for the sluggish economy through discussion and debate. As a former business owner, I understand the challenges facing those trying to make a living in New York. We will do little to improve the overall well-being of this state by imposing yet another cost-driver on hard-working families and business owners. We should be looking at legislation to reduce red tape for business owners, make broad-based tax cuts and find long-term solutions to encourage job growth.
 
With the vote for a new Assembly speaker now behind us, it is time to get back to doing the people’s work. When I came here at the beginning of this year I was intent on promoting common-sense legislation that benefits all New Yorkers. It’s time we do that, and increasing the minimum wage is certainly not the direction in which the economic discussion should be headed.
 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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