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Silver: Accelerate minimum-wage hike [UPDATED]

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. (Credit: Handout)

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is proposing that New York’s minimum wage rise faster than scheduled, to $9 an hour by the end of 2014.

Under a law passed this year, the minimum wage will rise 75 cents an hour to $8 on Wednesday. The next increase under the law would move the minimum wage to $9 an hour by Dec. 31, 2015.

Silver (D-Manhattan) would accelerate that rise to $9 an hour by making it effective Dec. 31, 2014.

“New York’s hardworking men and women are struggling and they cannot afford to wait two more years for a decent raise,” Silver said Monday. “Poverty is not a fair reward for those who work a full-time job."

 Silver's idea would have to win the support of the politically split state Senate and Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

[UPDATE: Republicans response]

Senate Republicans all but declared Silver's idea dead.

"We're perplexed that the Speaker would cite as inadequate a law that he helped negotiate with the governor and Senate just last year," said Kelly Cummings, spokesman for Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). "We have no interest in revisiting the issue at this time."

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