Matt Doheny opposes a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.80 per hour. His Democratic opponent, meanwhile, has so far refused to answer a reporter's question on his party's bill.
"Business owners tell me that this 35 percent jump in pay would force them to cut hours or offer fewer jobs, pass costs to the consumer and take home less profit," said Doheny, the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties' candidate. "As we teeter on another recession, we cannot afford to throw more people out of work. Does Bill Owens agree?"
The Senate Democrats proposal would also give a 220 percent raise to tipped employees, such as waiters and bartenders -- from $2.13 per hour to $6.86 per hour.
The consensus of economists is that a minimum-wage hike would lead to job loss, especially among the least-experienced, such as teens, and those who are least skilled. They find no correlation between raising the minimum wage and boosting the economy.
The Employment Policies Institute estimates that up to 768,000 jobs could be lost nationwide if the wage were increased to $9.80 per hour. In New York, between 15,00 and 43,500 jobs could be lost.
"My opponent has already demonstrated his willingness to support job-killing legislation which is supported by the special interests who fund his campaign," said Doheny. "The question is: Will he stand up for our job creators -- or stand with the AFL-CIO and other labor interests who are pushing for this increase?"