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January 22, 2013

Wage hike proposal worries area pols

(Continued)

Magee said he thought a bill seeking a smaller increase also might be more palatable.

“That’s a possibility, yes,” he said.

Neither Crouch nor Lopez accepted the idea that the extra money in the pockets of minimum-wage earners would stimulate the upstate economy.

“Absolutely not,” Crouch said. “Somebody on minimum wage, if they get another dollar an hour, are they going to buy clothing made in New York state?”

“To some extent, it’s bound to occur, but the question is: Where are they buying the goods and services, and who’s profiting from that greater availability of spending power?” Lopez asked. “If people buy more clothing, there will be some pickup for retail sales, some pickup for distributors, but it may be more money flowing overseas with imports. It’s hard to say what the direct impact would be to the economy.”

All of the legislators agreed that any increase in the minimum wage proposed by Cuomo would pass in the Assembly, but they were less willing to predict its fate in the Senate, where Republicans and a few Democrats have formed a majority coalition.

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