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There are fresh calls for an increase to the state’s minimum wage.
Citizen Action and several other organizations hosted a rally outside of the State Office Building in Binghamton today.
The groups say corporations, organizations, and lobbyists are spending big money to try to make sure the increase to eight dollars and fifty cents an hour fails.
Over the past two and a half years, about four-hundred thousand dollars has been spent by opponents to fight the proposal. According to Citizen Action, seventy-one percent of the contributions were paid to Republicans or Republican committees, including nearly nine thousand to State Senator Tom Libous.
The Democratic controlled State Assembly supports the increase while the Republican controlled Senate does not.
Larry Parham says, “$1.25 an hour is a small amount to increase in pay in relation to the business council who would be willing to pay out $134 an hour to hire a consultant to fight individuals who are trying to get $1.25 an hour.”
ETM Solar Works believes increasing the minimum wage is a good idea. The company pays a living wage and offers benefits.
ETM says it gets better quality workers who stay for years because of its policy.
Gay Canough says, “We decided that we were going to pay a living wage, we were going to pay at least an Ithaca hour or $10 an hour to our employees. Now over the years we’ve increased that. We’ve gone up to $11 an hour and now we’re going to $12 an hour.”
A spokesman for State Senator Tom Libous did not get back with us for comment by news time.