Sunday, May 20, 2012

Poll: New Yorkers back raising minimum wage to $8.50

Nearly eight in 10 New York voters are in favor of raising the state’s minimum wage, according to a new poll released Monday.

The Siena Research Institute survey found 78 percent of voters — including 88 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of Republicans — support increasing the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. It’s currently $7.25, the federal rate.

A bill being pushed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, would increase the rate to $8.50 beginning January 1 while tethering it to the rate of inflation.

“About two-thirds of voters have heard or read a great deal or some about the issue and the vast majority would like to see the Legislature pass the minimum wage increase before session ends next month,” Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said in a statement.

Support for the minimum wage proposal is high across all regions of the state, the poll found. Eighty-six percent of New York City voters support it, along with 77 percent in suburban New York City and 70 percent upstate.

The poll was held via phone from May 6 through 10, with 766 New York voters participating. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points. POST

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