BROOKLYN, (KINGS COUNTY POLITICS NEWS SERVICE) –  Flatbush Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte announced her support for the New York Assembly’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2016-2017, most notably the measures aimed to enhance New York’s quality of life for hard working middle-class families.

Under the proposed budget, these families would benefit from a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour and 12 weeks of paid family leave. The current proposal also lowers taxes for families most at risk while asking New York’s wealthiest to pay their fair share (E.1047).

“The Assembly budget proposal includes a number of measures – most notably a $15 minimum wage and 12 weeks of paid family leave – to help working and middle-class families,” said Bichotte. “In order to fund our schools and repair our neglected infrastructure, we’re asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share so all of New York’s families can have a better future.”

Although Bichotte fought for a more aggressive timeline, under the assembly proposal, the minimum wage will gradually increase over several years with a expedited implementation in downstate counties where the cost of living is higher. For families living in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the wage increase will be fully implemented by Dec. 31, 2018. Other counties will see a more gradual increase with the minimum wage reaching $15 per hour on Dec. 31, 2021. Notwithstanding implementation timelines and deadlines, once the $15-an-hour mark is reached, the minimum wage will be catching up to inflation’s indexation.

Under the assembly’s paid family leave proposal, private employers would offer a paid leave benefit financed by a maximum 45-cent contribution per week by employees. This small contribution would afford workers a maximum of 12 weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds of the employee’s salary. The contribution is contingent on it not exceeding 67 percent of the State’s average weekly wage and would provide employment security during an absence from work.

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