Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Riga/Rush/Wheatland) announced the Assembly passed legislation he co-sponsored to increase the states minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour beginning January 2013 (A.9148). The bill would also increase the minimum wage for food-service workers who receive tips from $5.00 to $5.86 per hour, and both wage rates would then be indexed to the rate of inflation beginning January 2014. The bill now awaits passage in the Senate.
"By passing this bill, we are one step closer to getting hardworking Monroe County families a fairer wage," Assemblymember Bronson said. "Those who are working full time should not be living in poverty."
"Often folks are forced to work two jobs up to 80 hours a week in order to pay the bills," said Carly Fox, an educator and advocate with the Worker Justice Center. "I applaud the Assembly for taking the first step in increasing the minimum wage in New York. This will help reduce the toll on one's family. Parents will have a better chance to focus on their family and spend time with their children instead of struggling to make ends meet."
In addition to being a sponsor of the bill, Assemblymember Bronson recently co-hosted a minimum wage roundtable with Metro Justice and other members of the Rochester community to discuss the importance of raising the minimum wage in New York State. The issue is of particular importance to Rochester, as over 29 percent of individuals in the Rochester area live in poverty, more than double the national poverty rate and the states average poverty rate. i
"By raising the minimum wage, we are not only boosting the local economy by putting money back in the pockets of those most likely to spend it, we are helping working families afford everyday expenses, without having to choose between such basic necessities as food, rent and gas," Assemblymember Bronson said. "I urge the Senate to pass this important piece of legislation."