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Quinnipiac Poll Shows Major Support for Minimum Wage Hike

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A recent Quinnipiac University Poll shows that New Yorker's support a minimum wage increase by a margin of 80 to 18 percent. Republicans support the measure 61 to 38 percent.

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Respondents were given a choice of the size of the increase they thought would be best and here is how they responded:

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43 percent say raise the minimum wage to more than $8.50 per hour;
28 percent say raise the wage to $8.50 per hour;
6 percent say raise the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage to something less than $8.50;
18 percent oppose any increase.

Respondents were much more conflicted about whether a minimum wage hike will result in employers hiring fewer workers--49 percent of respondents thought a hike would not hurt hiring while 44 thought it would.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made some sort of a minimum wage hike a part of his priorities for next year as have the Assembly Democrats, the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate as well as Senate Democrats but Senate Republicans have generally balked at the measure. Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos has called a wage hike, "A jobs killer."

The New York State Minimum Wage Coalition released this statement touting the poll:

"Voters overwhelmingly support raising New York's minimum wage to $8.50 to ensure that the state’s lowest-paid workers can cover basic expenses," said Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU, a coalition member. "If the minimum wage had kept pace with the rising cost of living, it would be approximately $10.70 per hour today. New York’s working families cannot wait any longer for the Legislature to pass a strong minimum wage increase that includes annual cost-of-living increases such as 10 other states have.”

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Guest Wednesday, 19 March 2014