McLaughlin labels bill as shortsighted

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose), focused on the economic stability of Upstate families, today voted against a minimum wage increase that would worsen the economic hardships facing Upstate New Yorkers. The proposed bill would increase the minimum wage more than 24 percent to $9.00 per hour and would increase the wage rate each year by indexing it to the urban consumer pricing index.

“This bill will eliminate jobs and raise the cost of doing business in our state, and those added costs will be passed onto the hardworking consumers,” said McLaughlin. “New York already has the highest taxes and the worst business climate in the country. New York also has the bleakest economic outlook of any state in the nation. Raising the minimum wage by 24 percent and increasing it annually thereafter is extremely dangerous and economically unsound. It would cost us jobs, not create them. Policies like this are what make New York the least business-friendly state in the nation.

“Business owner after business owner I have spoken to over the last two years has reiterated to me that any increase in the minimum wage will mean less money they’ll have to invest in their business, fewer employment opportunities to offer, more hours they themselves will have to put in, and a reduction in the pay and hours that will be available to their current employees. That means fewer people working, less taxable income for New YorkState and less discretionary dollars for people to spend. Passing this bill is nothing more than a signal for job creators and business owners to take their business elsewhere.”

At the current minimum wage, the unemployment rate of persons aged 16-19 is currently at a staggering 28 percent. If this 24 percent raise is forced upon employers, The Business Council of New York State estimates an additional cost of $4,063 per employee. Upstate businesses, already crippled by a multitude of financial mandates and regulations, will not have the money to hire new employees, which will all but eliminate the chance that our children can find employment. McLaughlin noted that increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for families who are truly living on minimum wage and need the financial help the most is a much better way to help the working poor climb the economic ladder.

“Increasing the minimum wage with an annual index is a poorly-targeted approach to bring financial assistance to those who need it most. Lowering taxes and loosening our state’s maze of regulations would do much more to help the working poor than an economically unsound decision on our state’s minimum wage.”

Assemblyman McLaughlin represents the 107th district, which consists of parts of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties. For more information, please visit Assemblyman McLaughlin’s official website.


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Steve McLaughlin for Assembly