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Silver: Accelerate minimum-wage hike [UPDATED]

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in an undated

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in an undated photo.

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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