Mike Amodeo, Democratic candidate for New York State Senate’s 60th District, pledges that when elected, he will support a minimum wage increase to $8.50. His opponent, Republican Mark Grisanti has publicly stated that “$8.50 an hour is too high,” which Amodeo calls a slap in the face to the constituents of his district.
“Other states like Massachusetts and New Jersey are proposing minimum wage increases and we can’t get past the poverty level at $7.25,” Amodeo said. “I believe this is the single most important issue that separates me from my Republican opponent who sides with Dean Skelos against a minimum wage increase for Western New York families.”
New York State’s minimum wage has not kept pace with the cost of living, based on statistics from the Fair Labor Standards Act, and has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Seventy-eight percent of New Yorkers polled stated they are in favor of a minimum wage increase that would positively impact close to one million residents, providing working men and women with more money to place back into the economy.* Raising the minimum wage to $8.50 would bring $600 million in economic activity and a net creation of 4,800 new jobs to New York State.**
“People want a minimum wage increase and Republican Mark Grisanti should not be standing in its way. Increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 will create economic and consumer demand, which will benefit the local economy when those same wage earners spend their money in local small businesses,” Amodeo said.
An increase in New York State’s minimum wage is the hallmark issue this election season of the state Working Families Party who has endorsed Amodeo over Republican Mark Grisanti. The New York State Assembly has already voted to increase the minimum wage but Grisanti and Republican leader Dean Skelos refuse to bring this issue up for a vote in the Senate.
It’s time Albany brings some relief to our working families here in Western New York. Blocking a minimum wage hike is not fighting for us. It’s both hypocritical to me that my opponent can consider a raise for himself, but not address the issue of helping the working families of Western New York,” Amodeo said.