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Assembly Speaker says minimum wage hike must be in budget

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Karen DeWitt
/
WRVO News
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

The speaker of the State Assembly says he wants to say a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour included in the state budget.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s been campaigning for a phased in $15 an hour minimum wage, said recently he thinks that the increase does not have to be part of the state budget. But the Democratic leader of the state Assembly, Carl Heastie disagrees.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s very important,” Heastie said. “I don’t want to put it off until after the budget. It’s probably our biggest priority.”

He says a paid family leave program should also be part of the budget.

“I’ve said the minimum wage is number 1,” said Heastie. “That’s 1-a.”

Senate Republicans have not yet agreed to either proposal. The budget is due in one month.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.