NFIB/NY to US Senators: Higher Federal Minimum Wage Would be Setback for New York

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today put US senators on notice that their votes Wednesday on whether to raise the federal minimum wage by 37 percent will count heavily among small business owners in New York.

“New York small businesses are still trying to absorb the 24 percent increase that was enacted last year,” said NFIB State Director Mike Durant.  “The federal proposal would raise costs another 12 percent.  That would make it very hard for small businesses that are struggling, especially in Upstate.”

NFIB this morning sent a letter to the United States Senate notifying members that S-2223 will count as a Key Vote in the NFIB Voting Record for the 113th Congress.  The bill, entitled the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, would increase the minimum wage to $10.10, increase tipped wage, and permanently index it to inflation.

The organization opposes the measure as a danger to small businesses that are least able to absorb a big increase in the cost labor.

“Yet again, lawmakers are targeting the nation’s economic engine – small business owners – with an anti-employer agenda,” said NFIB Manager of Legislative Affairs Ashley Fingarson. “With increases to health care costs, higher taxes, more costly regulations, and now a dramatic minimum wage increase, small business owners simply can’t afford another excessive government mandate. It could not be clearer from our studies and the recent Congressional Budget Office report – raising the minimum wage will kill jobs and stifle economic output.”

NFIB uses Key Votes each Congress to rate members of Congress and the US Senate. The information is then compiled and sent to each Congressional office at the end of the congressional session.  Lawmakers who vote with small business at least 70 percent of the time are eligible for NFIB’s Guardian of Small Business Award and potentially its endorsement for reelection.  The NFIB Voting Record also highlights lawmakers who vote against small business on most key issues.

“A lot of elected officials talk about supporting small businesses but their voting records sometimes tell a different story,” said Durant.  “This is a very important issue for small businesses in New York and we want our senators to know that before they vote on Wednesday.”

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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