- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The organization representing New York’s 35,000 farms says defeating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $15 minimum wage is its top political priority of the year.

New York Farm Bureau Dean Norton said this week that a $15 minimum would put the state’s agriculture industry at a competitive disadvantage with states like Pennsylvania, where the minimum is now $7.25 an hour.

The Farm Bureau estimates that Cuomo’s plan would cost farmers $500 million in added labor costs each year.

The Democratic governor wants to phase in the $15 minimum wage over several years and says he’ll offer businesses and farmers tax breaks and other incentives to help ease the transition.

The Farm Bureau’s other priorities for the year include investments in upstate roads and bridges and increased funding for farmland preservations.

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