GOSHEN – The Orange County
Legislature’s Education and Economic Development Committee passed
a memorializing resolution Monday afternoon opposing Governor Cuomo’s
proposal to increase the state minimum wage incrementally to $15 per hour.
The proposal was met with opposition on both sides of the political aisle,
albeit for different reasons.
Legislative Chairman Stephen Brescia (R), citing his experience as a small business owner, said he cannot see how this proposal would keep from crippling the small business community and believes that it would reduce jobs, rather than create them.
“Businesses are going to automate. These poor young adults, in high school and college, that come home looking for a job aren’t going to have that job anymore and there is no doubt in my mind that this is going to have a devastating effect,” said Brescia. “New York State is probably the worst state in the union with regulations: driving small business out of New York State left and right. Investment in other states is going up and New York State is going down and there’s no doubt that this is going to cost jobs.”
Brescia also said that the proposal would work conversely against the governor’s initiated tax cap and given the governor’s track record with initiatives like Start-up New York, which Brescia said had had little to no success, the chairman expects limited success with this proposal.
Some Democratic members of the legislature, although advocating an increase in the minimum wage and deeming it necessary, have also come out against the proposal in its current form. Christopher Eachus said as much as he believes the wage increase needs to happen, the language in the county resolution in its current form is flawed and that is not something he could sign off on.
“This particular draft is wrong and I quote the second whereas, it says: ‘Whereas Governor Cuomo has announced a similar plan to raise New York statewide minimum Wage to $15 an hour for all workers.’ That is not true. That is not true; those who receive tips are not going to get $15 an hour, ok, and that’s across the state. They have an exception for those who receive tips,” said Eachus.
Despite the opposition for the current proposal, Democratic Minority Leader Matthew Turnbull said the caucus will be supporting the wage increase by resolution because it needs to be done.