Lawmakers may have minimum wage deal


Statewide media organizations are reporting that state legislative leaders — what we New Yorkers used to call the "three men in a room" but now because of the power-sharing agreement in the Senate is actually the "four men in a room" — have reached an agreement to raise the minimum wage.

A Bloomberg News article says that under the deal the minimum wage would increase from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour over a three-year period. The first increase would happen on January 1, 2014, when the rate would rise to $8 an hour.

In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Barack Obama called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Critics of a minimum wage increase say that an increase is bad for businesses, because it will hurt businesses ability to hire and-or they will have to pass cost increases on to consumers.

But the last time New York's minimum wage went up was in 2009, when the federal minimum wage increased to $7.25 an hour. Since then, the cost of basic goods, including many food products, has increased.