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Cuomo Pauses on Minimum Wage Increase: Report

After GOP complains it would hurt businesses, Gov. takes a step back on minimum wage hike.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told journalists at a New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators event on Sunday that he might drop from the budget language that calls for an increase in the minimum wage after Republican legislators complained an increase would hurt business, The Times-Union reported.

Only six weeks ago, during Cuomo’s State of the State address, he laid out what he called a "progressive agenda” that called for workers' compensation reform, an expansion of the unemployment insurance for businesses and workers and an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 an hour.

The current minimum wage is below 19 other states and does not reflect the cost of living in New York, Cuomo said in his address.

Now, the governor is hinting at a reversal on his position following pressure from Republicans who also are pointing to President Barack Obama’s call for a national minimum wage of $9 during his State of the Union address last week.

Cuomo admitted the President’s proposal made the issue more “complex,” despite polls that show a minimum wage increase is supported by more than three-quarters of New Yorkers.

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