Pataki vetoes minimum wage bill

July 30, 2004 at 10:59 AM

ALBANY, N.Y., July 30 (UPI) -- New York Gov. George Pataki has vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage in the state to $7.15 by 2007.

Pataki, a Republican, said he supported an increase in the minimum wage -- currently $5.15 per hour -- but wanted it to be on the federal level, so as not to put New York businesses at a disadvantage.

Opponents of the measure said the state would lose jobs as employers' expenses climbed. Bill supporters said it would improve the state economy and help families get out of poverty.

The bill was passed last week by the New York legislature by margins -- 57-7 in the Senate and 116-19 in the Assembly -- that could override Pataki's veto. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, told the New York Daily News he would recommend the legislature override the veto Monday when lawmakers return to Albany.

Some 700,000 people in New York earn from $5.15 to $7.10 an hour, a union-backed research group told The New York Times.

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