WOODBURY - Long Islanders earning minimum wage could soon be bringing home fatter paychecks.
New York State Assembly Democrats are pushing to increase the minimum wage statewide to $10.50, with an even greater increase for Long Island, Westchester and New York City.
Assemblyman Phil Ramos is one of seven lawmakers calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise the downstate minimum wage from its current $8.75 an hour to $12.50 an hour by Dec. 31, and $15 an hour by December 2018. The proposal then calls for it to rise with inflation starting in 2019.
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Owners at some small mom-and-pop businesses, like A Taste of Home Bakery in North Bellmore, say they just can't afford to pay their workers more.
"Our expenses go up every different way, from ingredients to our PSEG bill to our utilities, our fees," said owner Monica Tarantino. "There's not much more that you can keep on doing and expect mom-and-pop businesses to be around."
News 12 Long Island reached out to Gov. Cuomo and Republican State Majority Leader Dean Skelos for comment, but has not heard back.