Joining a chorus of voices growing louder across New York, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, D-Whitestone, pushed for an increase in the minimum wage this week.
"The state’s minimum wage is too low and our neighbors are the ones suffering from continued inaction," said Stavisky. “Poll after poll has demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of New York residents support raising the minimum wage, and I call on my colleagues in government to join with me and the Senate Democratic Conference to achieve this vital reform.”
Stavisky is the latest in a long line of politicians — including President Barack Obama and Gov. Andrew Cuomo — to suggest that raising the minimum wage would help the economy by lifting up low-wage and middle-class citizens.
Stavisky said she supported efforts by her fellow Democrats at the state level to increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour.
Opponents of the plan say that most workers in minimum wage jobs are young people establishing themselves in the workforce, and that a wage hike could result in a hiring slowdown rather than an economic boost.
“Providing minimum wage earners with greater compensation for their hard work will help stimulate local economic growth throughout the state and lead to the creation of thousands of jobs," she said. "Living on less than $16,000 a year simply is impossible. Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to the rate of inflation is not only the right thing to do, it is the right economic thing to do."