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Some say proposed minimum wage increase could result in fewer jobs

By WKTV News

This week, the New York State Assembly Labor Committee held a public hearing on legislation to increase the state's minimum wage and the impact on workers and local economies.

Some lawmakers want to boost the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour.

However, some organizations and politicians say that the move could actually end up hurting business in the long run.

The Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce board passed a resolution last week formally opposing it. They, along with other in opposition to the measure, say that such a move could actually hurt business and workers, resulting in less jobs available, including much sought after second jobs by those who are having trouble making ends meet.

"People, in this poor economy, are trying to have their main job and glad to have another job and I think it might...those extra opportunities won't be there," said Chamber President Pamela Matt.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says, "These hearings are an important next step in the process to raise the minimum wage. It is important for our communities to speak up. raising the minimum wage fairly rewards low-wage workers, helping those who are striving to help themselves and in the process, giving a boost to local economies."

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney encouraged residents and business owners to speak out on their opposition to proposed minimum wage hike.

"Job creators that lack flexibility in our current uncertain economic environment will suffer; the proposed 17 percent minimum wage increase is an unacceptable onus to place upon New York State's small businesses, particularly when there is no substantive tax incentive or relief to help these businesses grow, thrive or survive," said Tenney. "According to the Tax Foundation, New York has the second-worst business tax climate in the United States. This reckless hike to the cost of labor will kill jobs and keep new job creators out of our state.

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