ALBANY — A proposed increase in New York’s minimum wage took a step forward yesterday when the state Legislature’s top Republican said he’d be open to it.
Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said he might support a “phase-in” of an increase to the $7.25-an-hour rate.
“We will look to see if there’s a way that we can compromise to increase wages . . . without negatively impacting local businesses,” the Long Islander told reporters.
He shares Senate power in an unprecedented coalition with Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein of The Bronx, a major proponent for a minimum-wage hike, who spoke at a rally by advocates at the Capitol [including advocates from Make the Road New York] yesterday.
Skelos made it clear he opposes Gov. Cuomo’s proposed $1.50-an-hour hike to $8.75, and GOP lawmakers have rejected Democratic proposals to “index” the rate annually to inflation.
Skelos called a minimum-wage hike a “job killer” last year, but noted yesterday on upstate’s Capitol Pressroom radio show that “some people in the business community are supportive.”