Mayor .. errr.. Senator Avella brings back NYC minimum wage bill

Queens Senator (and mayoral hopeful) Tony Avella wants to let New York City set its own minimum wage.

Avella has reintroduced a bill that would allow the city to set a rate above the state approved wage that was increased last year.

“The cost of living in the city of New York is significantly higher than many other regions throughout the state and the New York City Council should be empowered to legislate a higher minimum wage rate to address this increased cost of living if it chooses to do so,” read the justification in the bill’s memorandum.

If approved, this level of local control would fly in the face of actions taken this session by the legislature, which stripped New York City of the ability to impose a bag tax. (FYI: Avella voted to impose the state’s authority when it came to plastic bags.)

The proposal, which failed to advance out of the Senate Labor Committee in previous sessions, doesn’t currently have a same-as version in the Assembly.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has never signaled a willingness to let municipalities set their own rates, although the state’s recent minimum wage legislation did set the rates based on regions.

(For legislation nerds: the memorandum for this bill was likely copy and pasted from past sessions, as the legislative history portion fails to note the earlier versions of the bill.)

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