The newly passed state budget agreement would set the next increase in New York's minimum wage on December 31st.

It would go up from $9 to $11 an hour for larger New York City employers, $10.50 for those with 10 or fewer workers downstate and $9.70 in the rest of the state under an elaborate compromise. The top-out for most areas outside of New York City would be $12.50 with downstate tied to the Governor's original call for a $15 minimum.

Republican Assemblyman Clifford Crouch of Bainbridge says he doesn’t like it.  Crouch says farmers will be especially hard hit by any mandated increase in the minimum wage as will be small, family-owned businesses.

The New York State Senate worked through the night, past the April 1st start of the state’s fiscal year, and finally finished passing individual budget bills by mid-morning April 1.  Senator Fred Akshar of Binghamton says he’s talked to many business owners and he also believes the mandated increase in the minimum wage will put huge financial pressure on those business that may be forced to cut staff, staff-hours or increase prices.

While the minimum wage increase is getting the most attention, the 156-billion dollar budget also includes a provision for paid family leave for employees who have to take time off to care for a sick relative or a new child, increases education funding and gives middle class tax cuts.

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