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Minimum wage increase in effect

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401(K) 2013

The minimum wage increase of $8 an hour went into effect in New York State Tuesday. The increase is the first of three raises that will result in minimum wage workers earning $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

The wage hike will be followed by additional increases in 2014 and 2015. On December 31, 2014 the wage will rise to $8.75, and the rate will climb again to $9 by December 31, 2015.

According to the Fiscal Policy Institute roughly 774,000 New Yorkers will be impacted by the wage increase.

Senator Tim Kennedy supported the hike. He pointed to statistics from the American Community Survey that found 30 percent of people in Buffalo are living in poverty. He said the minimum wage increase will provide a boost for those families.

“I think it’s so important that those folks that are going to work everyday and working some of these minimum wage jobs have the opportunity to achieve the American dream and with the minimum wage being so low at $7.25 per hour, it’s impossible for some folks to achieve the American dream the way they set out to do or quite frankly the way that they deserve,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy says the minimum wage increase was long overdue. He says believes the hike will also provide an economic boost for western New York.

“We’re ensuring that New Yorkers that are working jobs in minimum wage capacities are able to cover tuition costs, senior citizens are able to supplement their depleting retirement savings, and single parents that are relying on some of these minimum wage jobs are able to care for their children a little bit easier,” said Kennedy.