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State budget increases minimum wage

Bart Everson/Flickr

ALBANY – Area state lawmakers are divided on increasing the minimum wage, a provision approved Thursday night in the 2013-14 budget.

Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Town of Woodbury) supports the wage hike.

“Over three years we phase it in to $9 an hour, which is something I pushed strongly for and the Assembly pushes strongly for since I took office in January,” Skoufis said.

But, another freshman lawmaker from the Hudson Valley, Kieran Michael Lalor (R, Fishkill), has a different take on the issue.

“The budget says we are going to give you businesses for your minimum wage employees money to subsidize the increases, but only if you have teenagers working for you – 16, 17, 18 and 19 – and if give them a raise out of the minimum wage, in other words one penny more than the minimum wage, you lose the subsidy,” Lalor said. “There is a minimum wage increase, but there is actually a maximum wage cap.”

The minimum wage will gradually increase to $9 per hour by 2016