Thursday, December 25, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A Big Fight at the Very Minimum

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With Gov. Cuomo and the Working Families Party playing some serious footsie over the weekend, there's a renewed emphasis on whether the city – and the state – will raise the minimum wage.

As our Zack Fink explains, while Cuomo says he supports boosting the minimum wage beyond the $9 an hour it will hit in 2016, the governor is frowning on localities raising it on their own – a message that didn't necessarily come through loud and clear this weekend when he was trying to win the WFP endorsement.

With Seattle raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is already talking about following suit, saying she'd like the Council to hold hearings on the matter.

Fresh off pushing the governor over the finish line at the Working Families Party convention, the mayor also says he'd like the city to raise the minimum wage, noting it could be a test of the five renegade Democrats who control the State Senate with the Republicans.

Should the Senate fail to act and the city tries to follow Seattle's lead, it will be interesting to see whether the governor actively blocks the move by speaking out against it in the middle of campaign season.

With the WFP nomination handed to Cuomo, disgruntled liberal Democrats really have nowhere to go except the Green Party's Howie Hawkins. The minimum wage could be the first test of the governor's woozy weekend vows. But if the mayor's failed push for a pre-k tax from the governor is any guide, de Blasio could be in for more disappointment at a minimum.

Bob Hardt

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