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Cuomo proposes minimum wage hike at Buffalo appearance

WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to Buffalo Tuesday to push for increasing New York's minimum wage. 

Speaking in a packed auditorium in the Boys and Girls and Club on Bailey Avenue near Genesee Street,  Cuomo said thousands of people will benefit if the minimum wage is increased from the current $8.75 an hour to $10.50 an hour.

"100,000 New Yorkers would be lifted out of poverty and that's the reason for doing it," said Cuomo.

The governor is calling the effort his 'Fight for Fair Pay' campaign. Cuomo was joined by labor and community leaders in support of his proposed wage hike.  

“I am for any change in a positive direction. An increase in minimum wage will actually help create jobs because a person working two or more jobs to make ends meet could afford to drop one of them, providing an opening for another worker," said George Harrigan, President Teamsters Joint Council #46 in WNY.

Cuomo said it will also be good for businesses and the economy because workers will earn another $3 billion. 

"You know what they are going to do with that $3 billion, they're going to spend it. They're not putting in the bank for retirement. Trust me, they're going to spend it," said Cuomo.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is urging New Yorkers to contact their representatives in Albany to get the minimum wage increase approved. 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also appeared at the announcement.

“The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs of living and peoples' expenses. I'm pleased to join Governor Cuomo in this fight to raise the minimum wage statewide and I urge our state legislators to support this important initiative," said Brown.  

After the announcement, reporters asked the governor how he would accomplish passage of a minimum wage increase and bypass opposition in the Republican state Senate.  

Credit WBFO News photo by Chris Caya
Governor Cuomo talks with local reporters after announcing proposed hike in minimum wage while in Buffalo.

"At the end of the day, we've been able to reconcile our differences and reach compromises," said Cuomo. "I think we're going to be able to do that again. But... the Senate doesn't support the minimum wage increase."

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