Late last night, Albany delivered a major win for New York City’s struggling low-income workers. The new state budget requires employers to pay a minimum of $15 per hour. For those working 40-hour weeks, the $6 increase over the current minimum wage ($9) will add $240 to their weekly income— that’s over $12,000 a year!
The change, which will take full effect in NYC by the end of 2018, only applies in full to the five boroughs. Folks living in nearby Westchester and Long Island counties will have to wait nearly six years to hit the $15 mark, and New York state residents living further north of Westchester will only reach $12.50 by 2021.
The state budget, which was counted mostly as a win for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Assembly’s Democrats, also requires employers across the state to give workers 12 weeks of paid family leave starting in 2018. The paid leave can be used by employees to care for newborns, sick relatives and for handling a family member's military deployment, and would be available to those who have worked at least six months with a company.
Other victories for Gotham include $500 million for the second phase of construction for the Second Avenue subway line and a halt to the proposal that NYC take over $485 million in funding for the City University of New York.