WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – A state budget may be voted on as early as this weekend after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators came to an agreement late Wednesday on a budget that would raise the minimum wage, the governor announced.
The more than $142 billion budget agreement would raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour over three years. It would increase from the current rate of $7.25 an hour to $8 an hour in January 2014 and $9 an hour in January 2016.
"This budget raises the minimum wage to $9 over the next three years because $7.25 an hour is unfair, unlivable and unsustainable," Cuomo said in a statement.
If the legislature passes the budget, it would be the third consecutive budget to be approved on time, something that has not happened in almost 30 years, Cuomo said.
The budget would also continue higher income taxes for millionaires that was set to expire next year, raising $2 billion per year. It would also cut utility taxes and provide deductions for businesses, and give families with at least one child that make between $40,000 and $300,000 a $350 rebate check in 2014, an election year.
The tentative agreement includes funding to make pre-kindergarten full-time and incentivizes the 700 school districts in New York State to increase the time students spend in school by covering 100 percent of the cost of any additional school time.
Another initiative funds 10 high-tech innovation Hot Spots, a public private partnership that would allow a new business developed in school to pay no taxes while it grows. In return, the business would have to commit to stay in New York and hire New Yorkers.
"This year’s budget proves once again that by working together, government can deliver results for the people of New York and continue the work of growing our economy and creating jobs," the governor's statement said. "New York is rising and coming back stronger than ever before."
Cuomo gave a " State of the State " at Purchase College on March 7 in which he addressed the budget to students and faculty.