(Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on Wednesday for raising the state's minimum wage by nearly 21 percent, to $8.75 an hour.
"It is long overdue," Cuomo said during his State of the State address. "We should have done it last year."
New York's current rate of $7.25 an hour is below that of 19 other states, he said. On January 1, 10 U.S. states increased their minimum wage rates by between 10 and 35 percent.
Lawmakers in neighboring New Jersey passed bills late in 2012 to ask voters whether the state ought to hike the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour from the current $7.25.
But the legislators must approve the measure again this year before it goes on the ballot.
Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Dan Grebler