New York State’s Minimum Wage is set to increase as of December 31. For the NY 23rd and other upstate communities, that means it will go from $9/hr to $9.70/hr (or for a 40 hour work week from $18,750 to $20,126 per year). That includes agricultural workers and in essence tipped workers since their wage will be $7.50/hr with a “tip credit” of $2.20/hr.
One group of industries who may suffer in the change are the non-profit service organizations. The ARC–Association of Retarded Citizens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which major sources of income are charitable donations; dues for membership in local and state chapters; and government grants, contracts, and fees. The ARC’s Direct Support Workers are important to their clients’ success. They need to be able to earn a living wage. When the minimum wage increases, the workers above the minimum wage also should increase. That could be quite a hike of extra revenue needed.
Where will the non-profits like the ARC get their increase in funding to pay for their increase cost for salaries?
They can not assume they will get more donations. President-elect Trump’s Tax plan will capped the amount people can claim as itemized deductions, which will have a negative affect on the wealthy’s donations to charitable organizations.
But, in a move that surprised me, our local State representatives, Assemblymen Chris Friend and Phil Palmesano, along with Senator Tom O’Mara voiced their opinion that the State has the responsibility to fund their unfunded minimum wage mandate. In a Press Release, which I saw in two newspapers and assume it or similar articles appeared in others NY23rd newspapers, they met with the local ARC leaders for a photo-opt and discussed the need to increase funding to the ARC. Assemblyman Palmesano said, “This needs to be the top priority before we address anything else.”
We need to keep our representatives accountable for what they say. Are they going to limit their funding non-funded mandates to only the ARC’s current concerns, or will they support other non-profits in general? What will they give up in negotiations to help the non-profits? We should know the government funding the ARC presently receives to see if the next years’ budget really has the covers the ARC (and other non-profits) needs.
Maybe Friend, Palmesano and O’Mara already know that Governor Cuomo understands the plight of the non-profits and plans to increase funding for them in the next budget to compensate them. Then this meeting with the ARC leadership was just be a ploy to get some underserving plubicity.
Friend, Palmesano and O’Mara are not likely supporters of the minimum wage increase. Their comments may be no more than thinly veiled criticism of Governor Cuomo and Assembly Democrats.