Gov. Andrew Cuomo tonight will be holding the first of a series of telephone town halls on increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15.
The first forum will be Thursday evening with New York City residents, and the Cuomo administration plans to hold one for every region of the state by the end of the budget talks in Albany.
The event was first reported by The Daily News this morning and confirmed by Cuomo’s office.
The event will feature George Gresham, the 1199SEIU president, who chairs the Mario Cuomo Economic Justice Campaign. The even will also feature economists on the phone to discuss the proposal and will take questions.
The event represents a new shift in the push by Cuomo on the minimum wage proposal, which majority Republicans in the state Senate have not embraced. Business groups have mobilized a counter campaign to oppose the wage increase.
“Raising the minimum wage will mean restoring opportunity and basic decency to workers and families across the state who are struggling to get by,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Over the next few weeks, I’ll be speaking directly to residents across the state and urging them to make their voices heard in this fight to ensure a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
Cuomo last year took executive action to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers as well as SUNY and state employees. The current minimum wage is $9.