- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Elected leaders in upstate New York are urging state lawmakers not to back off from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to gradually raise the minimum wage from $9 to $15 throughout the state by 2021.

Eighty-five upstate mayors, town councilmembers and county legislators have signed on to a letter opposing any compromise that would stretch out the phase-in to nine years.

The letter says upstate workers shouldn’t have to wait nine years for $15 and that Cuomo’s timeframe would give businesses a “responsible” amount of time to adjust to higher labor costs.

The Democratic governor’s plan calls for incremental increases to $15 over three years in New York City and six years elsewhere.

Republican lawmakers have suggested a slower phase-in.

Lawmakers hope to reach a deal by April 1.

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