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Letter Sent to Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie
Albany, NY – The Grow NY Farms Coalition today delivered a letter to Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie urging them to reject proposals to increase the minimum wage.
Statement from the Grow NY Farms Coalition: “While most businesses can pass increased costs onto consumers, our family farms are competing with neighboring states and countries where the cost of doing business, including the minimum wage, is significantly less. Most employees in agriculture make more than minimum wage, and in many cases receive added benefits not offered by any other industry. However, when entry-level pay increases, the entire payroll is forced up, in addition to the taxes and benefits that go along with it. Additional mandates to increase wages for the agriculture industry will put New York’s food security at risk, jeopardize our food supply chains, and ripple throughout our rural economies across the state. We urge our elected leaders to pause any plans for minimum wage increases to allow family farms and small businesses to catch their financial breath, assess economic impacts, and plan for the future.”
The state’s minimum wage is set to increase to $15 an hour Upstate at the end of 2023 and is already fully implemented in New York City and the surrounding metro counties. Increasing costs for farms put the state’s food security at risk, and with one in 10 New York households already suffering from food insecurity according to a recent report by the State Comptroller, this is not a gamble worth making.