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8 in 10 in NYC suburbs back minimum wage hike

Federal labor laws require nonexempt workers, or hourly

Federal labor laws require nonexempt workers, or hourly workers, to be paid for all the hours they work. Credit: iStock

Nearly eight in ten residents of Long Island and the other New York City suburbs support raising the minimum wage, according to a new poll.

The Siena College Research Institute reported today that 77 percent of people living in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the suburbs north of the city back the proposed hourly wage increase from $7.25 to $8.50. Sixteen percent are opposed, and six percent said they needed more information.

The poll results for the suburbs mirror those for New York State as a whole.

“The vast majority would like to see the [state] legislature pass the minimum wage increase before session ends next month,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg, a former top aide to two Democratic Assembly speakers.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) is championing the wage increase. State Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) opposes the measure, calling it “a job killer.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo hasn’t taken a position on the bill, although he has said he “philosophically” supports hiking the minimum wage and believes, if done right, it can create jobs in the state.

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