A top Senate Republican said today there are “creative ways” for dealing with the state’s minimum wage and campaign-finance reform, two hot-button issues where the GOP has differed with Democrats in the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Last week, Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein said he believes a new Senate partnership between his caucus and the Republicans will be able to pass “progressive reforms” like increasing the minimum wage and reforming the state’s rules for financing campaigns.
Senate Deputy Minority Leader Tom Libous, R-Binghamton, said today he believes the current proposals on both of those issues need some work. The GOP has balked at hiking the minimum wage and publicly funding political campaigns.
“We’re going to have to work together on those things. I’m not going to contradict what Leader Klein is saying, but I think if they do go to the floor I think they will be in a different form than what we presently see,” Libous said. “I think there are creative ways of addressing issues like the minimum wage and creative ways of addressing campaign-finance reform.”
Libous said he doesn’t “like any of the bills that are out there right now.” On the minimum wage side, Klein has sponsored an Assembly bill that would increase the rate to $8.50 an hour and tie future increases to the rate of inflation.
“I think they are devastating. The minimum-wage bill that exists now is devastating to business and campaign-finance reform puts the burden on taxpayers,” Libous said. “I’m not sure taxpayers want to pay for campaigns.”