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Senate GOP doesn't shut door on Cuomo's $15 minimum wage, but raises concerns

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) at

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) at the Capitol in Albany on June 25, 2015. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

ALBANY - The State Senate's Republican majority that has blocked some minimum wage hikes in the past as job killers and bad for business didn't dismiss Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposal for a $15 minimum wage for all workers, but raised concerns.

"Companies looking to succeed and grow here are currently dealing with among the highest costs of doing business in the country, and this proposal would dramatically increase their labor costs as well," said Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) in a statement.

"Raising the wage floor in New York that far that fast could lead to unintended consequences such as severe job losses and negatively impact many businesses who are already struggling just to keep their heads above water," Flanagan said after Cuomo made his proposal with Vice President Joe Biden at his side in Manhattan on Thursday.

Flanagan said legislative hearings and public debate are needed before the statewide minimum wage is raised again.

"We need to proceed cautiously and deliberatively, and take a step back to study the real-life consequences of any additional increase in the minimum wage, especially one of the magnitude of a nearly 70 percent hike," Flanagan said.

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