Governor pessimistic on minimum wage increase
While Governor Cuomo says he supports an increase in the state's minimum wage, he says he does not expect to see it happen this year. The governor blames Senate republicans for the failure of the measure. YNN's Nick Reisman has more.
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NEW YORK STATE -- Governor Andrew Cuomo says he supports a minimum wage increase, but Monday, blamed Republicans in the State Senate for the measure's likely demise.
“I don't think this is, at this time, in the realm of the possible because the Senate has a heart-felt position in opposition,” Cuomo said,
While not quite a declaration of defeat, it's an unusually pessimistic stance for a governor instrumental in passing seemingly impossible pieces of legislation, including the legalization of gay marriage and an overhaul of the state's tax code.
“He's just making a prediction. He's a great governor, I'm not sure he's a great prognosticator,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.
So it begs the question, why isn't Cuomo pushing harder for the bill that enjoys broad support in polls?
Silver said, “It's not a matter of pushing harder. The public is pushing harder.”
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has called that measure a job killer, but pointedly did not rule out compromise measures. The minimum wage issue is a boost for Democrats trying to retake the majority. Democratic candidates in Brooklyn and Rochester have already made it an issue in their campaigns against Republicans.
“This is not a bill you compromise on. Are you for the minimum wage or against the minimum wage? The minimum wage is not a minimum wage, it's a poverty wage. This is not a political issue, this is not a political football, this is a moral issue,” Senate Minority Leader John Sampson said.
Then there's the calculus for Senate Republicans. They've already given a popular Democratic governor so many successes that a minimum wage increase would only serve to anger their base in an election year.