ALBANY — The four-month-old ruling coalition of Republicans and five breakaway Democrats in the state Senate could face the greatest test to its unity over raising the state minimum wage.
A source with knowledge of the talks told the Albany Times Union that the Senate coalition was starting to show cracks over the minimum wage debate following a Wednesday budget negotiation involving Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate’s leadership team of Republican Dean Skelos and Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein.
Speaking to reporters in the afternoon, Klein denied any rift with Skelos. He also praised what he described as the “framework” for a wage increase in the Senate’s one-house budget resolution, which passed Monday. It called for an increase over three years, but is silent on what the wage and its annual increases would be over the period.
Skelos has remained steadfast in the past against an increase, calling it a potential jobs-killer.