Associated Press (06/05/12)
Progressive groups pushing for a minimum wage increase in the state of New York are citing comments by Yale and Fordham professors who argue that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s labor department already has the power to increase it. “It’s not a close call at all,” says professor Michael Wishnie of Yale Law School. He says New York and several other states have provisions of law to raise the minimum wage in the face of a changing economy that can be less costly, faster, and less political than setting wages through legislatures.
Cuomo says he supports increasing the wage to $8.50 from the current $7.25 an hour, but New York has never bumped it up for all workers without the state legislature’s consent. The state senate’s Republican majority flatly opposes the measure as a “job killer.” The regular legislative session ends June 21. New York has in the past used the law to raise the minimum for most if not all labor sectors individually, says professor Jennifer Gordon of Fordham University School of Law.