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Sources: Cuomo to propose $15 minimum wage (Updates)

ALBANY - (Updates with second source, adds context)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to propose a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all workers Thursday, according to two state officials.

Cuomo is expected to announce his proposal to the Legislature at a press event with Vice President Joseph Biden in Manhattan. The announcement is listed only as "economy" on Cuomo's schedule.

Cuomo would appear to be embracing the bill proposed by the state Assembly's Democratic majority, but which was opposed by the Senate's Republican majority.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi declined comment.

Cuomo's wage board recently approved a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers, which Cuomo's labor commissioner is expected to accept.

Assembly Democrats for months have pushed for a $15 minimum wage for all workers.

The current statewide minimum wage is $8.75 an hour. It is scheduled to increase to $9 on Dec. 31.

Cuomo has previously said he doubted the Assembly's proposal for a $15 statewide minimum wage would pass in the Senate.

"The Assembly wants to raise it to $15 an hour," Cuomo said earlier this year. "God bless them. Shoot for the stars ... The Senate is totally against raising the minimum wage."

Cuomo instead has proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.50 with an $11.50 wage for New York City because of its higher cost of living.

Cuomo used his executive power to create a wage board to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers after the Legislature failed to agree on a bill earlier this. But a statewide minimum wage increase will require Senate and Assembly approval.

Cuomo's announcement on Thursday will come the same day the Senate's Republican majority holds a hearing that questions Cuomo's use of a wage board to raise the fast-food minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage has been a top priority of the Working Families Party that endorsed Cuomo in his 2014 re-election bid after a struggle within the influential minor party.


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