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March 8, 2013

Minimum-wage bill approved in Assembly, but not by North Country members

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PLATTSBURGH —

“This bill is far too aggressive against businesses when we are trying to improve the business climate in this state,” he said.

“I haven’t talked to any businesses who have said that if we raise the minimum wage they would hire more people.”

OPPOSITION

Stec, like Duprey, wants to see some kind of relief provided to business owners if a wage hike is approved.

He noted that the Business Council of New York State, Unshackle Upstate and the New York Farm Bureau are among the government-watchdog groups that opposed the wage hike.

“Those are some powerful groups,” Stec said.

IN THE SENATE

While the Assembly approved a bill for a minimum-wage increase, the Senate has no immediate plans to vote on a similar bill, according to Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury).

Little said she is not in favor of an increase right now.

“A lot of businesses I’ve talked to have said they would go to more part-time employees with no benefits, and I don’t want to see jobs lost,” she said.

Little also said she would like to see business costs for owners lowered if a minimum-wage hike were to be approved.

BOTH SIDES

Mailey said some employees start at Stewart’s at minimum wage, while others start out higher, depending on experience. He said the company is trying to take workers’ needs into consideration.

“We try to look at all the sides,” he said. “The people working as well as business.”

As far as businesses receiving some kind of relief in the wake of a wage increase, Mailey said, “we haven’t had those discussions yet.”

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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