ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week on Empire State Weekly, the next step in the state budget process was unveiled after a month-long delay. Governor Hochul released a list of key items that have been agreed upon ahead of the finalized budget vote.

Patrick Orecki, the Director of State Studies at the Citizens Budget Commission, explained the long delay with the state budget is a concern, not just for the State’s planning purposes but also for budget planning on the local level.

Orecki explained that the process would continue as lawmakers review the agreed budget items as the bills “age” for three days before a final vote. He expressed concern that the Governor may skip the “aging” process by calling for a Message of Necessity to ensure a speedy vote.

Also, this week, one of the items agreed on in the tentative budget outline is an increase in the State’s minimum wage.

According to the proposal, the minimum wage will ultimately increase to $17 in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island…$16 for the rest of the State. In 2027, any future increases will be tied to inflation.

Steve Ammerman, Director of Communications for the New York Farm Bureau, explained that state farmers believe this increase (and other proposed wage increases) will ultimately hurt them. He explained that farmers could not pass on higher labor costs to their consumers because New York farms compete with farms from other states with lower labor costs.

“And those farms can set their prices cheaper because they have lower labor costs so lower costs win at the end of the day.”

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A schedule of where you can watch Empire State Weekly