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Minimum wage rally gathers leaders and elected officials

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Minimum wage rally gathers leaders and elected officials
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Leaders and elected officials gathered on Sunday, urging lawmakers to increase the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. YNN's Karen Tararache heard from those supporting an idea that many business groups aren't sold on.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "We have spent a long time talking about something that I think is obvious to everyone," said Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Brought to light by Speaker Sheldon Silver in 2012 and supported by Governor Cuomo in 2013, now a minimum wage hike is even making the federal government's agenda.

President Barack Obama stated, "Let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty."

Increasing the wage in New York from the current $7.25 to $9.00 an hour with indexing has some lawmakers believing the jump would help the economy.

"Studies have shown that these folks in the lowest rungs of our economic ladder as soon as they get money, they will spend it immediately on the things that they need," said Assemblymen Keith Wright.

But state director, Mike Durant of the National Federation of Independent Business, which advocates for small business interests nation-wide, said the plan, "Would be especially destructive in Upstate New York, where there are thousands of small businesses hanging by a thread in a stubbornly bad economy." Also adding, "95 percent of all employers pay more than the minimum wage already."

Department store owner, Jack Yonally told YNN, "The minimum wage should go up a little bit, I don't know that they have to take the big jump they're making."

So while the proposal may seem like a long shot, for others, "We are ready, we are ready to go to $9.00 an hour," said the Senate Minority Leader. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP