Cuomo: Separate New York City minimum wage would be chaotic

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo rejected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pitch to create the city’s own, higher minimum wage as “chaotic,” before the mayor could pitch it to Albany.

“We are one state and we don’t want to cannibalize ourselves,” Cuomo said Tuesday.

De Blasio in his State of the City address Monday called for a city minimum wage separate of the statewide minimum wage. De Blasio said a higher city wage is needed to “ensure that New Yorkers aren’t relegated to the ranks of the poor when putting in a full week’s work.”

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On Tuesday, Cuomo said separate municipal minimum wages in different cities would pit cities within New York against each other for employers.

“This could be a chaotic situation,” Cuomo said on public radio’s “Capital Pressroom” Tuesday. “That competition within the state, I don’t believe would be productive. I don’t want to see Buffalo trying to steal from Syracuse.”

 “Our middle class isn’t just squeezed,” de Blasio said. “It’s at risk of disappearing altogether … next week, we will ask Albany to give New York City the power to raise the minimum wage in all five boroughs.”

The Senate’s Democratic minority supports the idea, but faces strong opposition by Republicans who share control the Senate with the Independent Democratic Conference.

Cuomo said the state constitution supports a statewide minimum wage. He said that allows the state to focus on competing with other states for jobs.

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