Unilateral Action On Minimum Wage Unfair For All

Gov. Cuomo is preparing to take unilateral action to further artificially adjust labor rates. He has instructed Acting State Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino to create a Wage Board to examine the minimum wage in the fast food industry.
The rhetoric coming from the governor’s office is troubling, but unfortunately familiar. He has time and again ignored the basic tenets of Democracy and rushed detrimental policies to suit his own personal agenda.
From the introduction of the SAFE Act, which was forced through the Legislature with no input from the public, law enforcement or mental health experts, to his propensity for using messages of necessity, which bypass the traditional three-day aging period for legislation, the governor has consistently put his politics before the people.
The recommendations of the board, expected in July, do not need legislative approval, according to the governor’s own press release earlier this week. This is a reckless case of executive overreach with high stakes. We are already raising the minimum wage in New York at the end of this year – jeopardizing the jobs of small-business employees – we can ill-afford to put any more pressure on job creators.
In addition, the governor is singling out one industry and creating a separate standard for it to meet. His previous minimum wage proposal set up regional disparities by offering higher wages downstate. By doing so, we will do more harm than good to the economy.
The governor’s defense of his plan was enumerated in a New York Times op-ed that featured a major factual error regarding the number of fast-food workers raising a child. The piece claimed that two-thirds of those workers had a child, when in fact the number is far lower, as reported in this Capital New York article. Further, the article goes on to note how similar the governor’s op-ed is to talking points from apparently pro-hike labor groups.
The business community almost unanimously opposes a hike in the minimum wage. Many employers expressed the fear that they may have to lay workers off to accommodate the law. Considering that New York is already struggling with high taxes, lagging job growth and one of the worst business climates in the U.S., it is baffling why the governor and Assembly Majority are pushing yet another mandate on job creators.
I stand firm in my commitment to improving the business climate in New York and urge all legislative leaders to stop applying undue pressure on the business community. The last thing New York needs is a spike in unemployment.
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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