An intraparty fight has broken out in New York over the state’s minimum wage laws and how to get more money to the lowest-paid workers without hurting businesses, portending similar skirmishes across the country in the coming years.
The debate is rekindling divisions among Democrats in Albany, pitting liberal lawmakers against their more centrist colleagues and highlighting fissures that have emerged in Democratic strongholds elsewhere, particularly in areas with some of the country’s highest costs of living.
Moderate Gov. Kathy Hochul — still bruised by an unflattering election performance and losing a judicial standoff with lawmakers — this year proposed pegging the state’s minimum wage to inflation, while capping year-over-year increases to 3 percent or less. The state already requires a minimum wage of $15 per hour in and around New York City and $14.20 upstate.