NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York’s minimum wage is already higher than the federal rate, but it could go up even higher under a plan explained in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal. 

She presented her plans Wednesday for the 2024 fiscal year, which includes indexing the minimum wage to inflation. During her January State of the State address, Hochul noted that monthly costs for goods and energy for low-income residents had jumped by more than 13% in the past two years.

“That pushes families on the margins to the breaking point. So, as a matter of fairness and social justice, I am proposing a plan to peg the minimum wage to inflation,” she said during the State of the State address. “If costs go up, so will wages. Like other states that have implemented this policy, we will put guardrails in place to make increases predictable for employers, and create flexibility in the event of a recession.”

Under Hochul’s plan, there will be an automatic increase in minimum wage tied to the year-over-year Consumer Price Index for the region, according to the proposed budget. The increases would be capped and paused as needed to ensure they won’t cause employment issues for businesses. 

The governor’s budget plan would use $38 million in state funds to support the increases. It would impact an estimated 900,000 workers, she said.

“Those workers are more likely to be women, many of whom are single moms, and they are more likely to be people of color,” Hochul said during her State of the State address. “Putting more money in their pockets helps them and our economy overall, as it goes back to local businesses and services.”