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New York Ag News Headlines
NY Farms to Hochul, State Legislators: Hold Off on Additional Minimum Wage Hikes
New York Ag Connection - 03/15/2023

With competing proposals to raise the state's minimum wage under consideration, New York farmers are urging policymakers to pause any plans for pay hikes.

Grow NY Farms, a coalition that consists of eight groups, including the New York Farm Bureau, Northeast Dairy Producers Association and New York State Vegetable Growers Association, sent a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul and state legislative leaders asking them to reject proposals to increase the state's minimum wage.

One concern the coalition shared is that the original minimum wage increase that was approved in 2016 is still being phased in for upstate New York. While the minimum wage reached $15 an hour in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County within the last five years, the minimum wage in the rest of the state — including upstate counties — is at $14.20 an hour. It is expected to rise to $15 an hour at the end of this year.

"As we have said many times before, farmers are price takers and cannot set their prices in the marketplace," Grow NY Farms wrote in its letter. "Any increase in mandated farm wages simply takes more money out of family farmers' pockets at a time when farm economic viability is suspect at best. This jeopardizes the production of and access to fresh local food that the people of New York want."

A bill introduced in the state Legislature would increase the minimum wage to $21.25 an hour, the highest of any state in the country. The legislation would also index the minimum wage to inflation to allow for annual cost-of-living adjustments.


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