By Robert Harding
The debate over whether or not to raise the minimum wage isn't just a New York state issue. It's now an issue in the 24th Congressional District race.
Democratic candidate Dan Maffei has called on U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill, to support increasing the federal minimum wage.
"It is simply another example of Congresswoman Buerkle's misplaced priorities. Congresswoman Buerkle should be leading the charge to raise the minimum wage," Maffei said in a news release. "Those are dollars that could help middle class families, and be spent at our local businesses, helping to bring our economy out of this recession. Instead, Congresswoman Buerkle is focused on protecting tax breaks for billionaires and oil companies."
Right now, the federal minimum wage rate is $7.25. States can set their own minimum wage, but most states have minimum wage rates equal to or higher than the federal government's.
Maffei's campaign cited a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago report that said an increase in the minimum wage would not only increase household income, but it would also increase household spending by $700 per quarter.