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By Rod Watson
Buffalo News, April 19, 2023. Also in the Post Star (Glens Falls)

Who knew that Albany’s inability to do its primary job – pass a budget on time – could turn out to be good news for nearly 2.9 million people, or roughly a third of the state’s workforce?

That’s how many people the Economic Policy Institute estimates could benefit if state leaders use the extra time to include in the budget the Raise the Wage Act that would gradually hike New York’s minimum wage to $21.25 an hour and index it to inflation. ...

Maybe that’s why more than 300 businesses and business groups statewide – including more than 50 locally – formed the New York Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Coalition to push the issue.

“We know that every study around shows that working-class people put the money right back into the economy ... because they have to,” said Aaron Bartley, whose FITZ Books & Waffles on Ellicott Street is part of the coalition.

Still, business groups – despite the evidence – persist in arguing that “the market” should dictate wages. Of course, that seems laughable considering how often those same folks talk out of the other side of their mouth when seeking government subsidies instead of relying on the marketplace.

“Why should workers always be the ones who have to go with ‘the market?’” asks Harper Bishop, business campaign manager for the coalition.

They shouldn’t. ...

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