Sen. Greg Ball plans to unveil a measure that would raise the state’s minimum wage while also cutting business taxes, the Putnam County Republican said in a statement this afternoon.
Ball, a freshman lawmaker who is considered deeply conservative but has something of a maverick streak, said in a statement he plans to reveal the business and job package at an event on Friday.
Ball announced the move in a news release and advisory, saying the measure is an attempt “to cut through the clutter and lead from the front.” No details on the tax cuts or how much the minimum wage would be increased were immediately available.
The bill comes after a bill to boost the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and tie future increases to the rate of inflation failed in the Legislature after Republicans balked at the proposal.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos had insisted his conference would not pass the measure or exchange it for business tax cuts that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver likely would not have gone for, either.
The bill also comes as the election season enters its final month and Ball faces a challenge from Democrat Justin Wagner.
“Albany is in stalemate between those who want a minimum wage hike and those who want a tax cut for businesses. We can do both, and we should, but any hike in the minimum wage must be paired with an equally compelling tax cut package for small business owners. My comprehensive package increases the minimum wage while also cutting taxes on small business owners by 20% and fully repealing the MTA payroll tax. If we can avoid the politics and work together, we can take care of both the employee and the employer,” Ball said in a statement.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters in May that raising the state’s minimum wage — a move he supports — would have been a heavier lift than passing same-sex marriage through the Republican-controlled Senate. Cuomo hinted recently that a special session could result in a minimum wage increase, with a pay raise for lawmakers used as a bargaining chip. (ARTICLE)