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Washington, DC - Congressman Tom Reed took a stand against the proposal in the New York State legislature to make the minimum wage for prison inmates $3 an hour.

"We care about ensuring hard working, law abiding citizens are treated fairly, but it seems the extremists in Albany would rather prioritize prison inmates by giving them a $2 raise an hour," Reed said. "With proposed budgets cuts of $60 million for our local towns and villages and another $550 million in healthcare funding, how is it fair to propose a raise for prisoners?

"Across New York, law-abiding citizens struggle every day to pay some of the highest taxes in the country." State Senator Pam Helming said. "We should not be rewarding those who have been convicted of serious crimes with wage increases when seniors and families are struggling to pay their property taxes. We have a staffing crisis in our group homes, nursing homes, and veterans facilities. Shouldn't this be our priority? I look forward to working with Congressman Reed as we continue our efforts to protect taxpayers and enhance public safety."

"The 'Prison Minimum Wage Act' is an unbelievable proposal, especially with New York facing a budget deficit and when the state is already failing to live up to its promise of higher wages for hard-working, law-abiding employees like the Direct Service Professionals (DSPs) who care for our citizens with developmental and intellectual disabilities," State Senator Tom O'Mara said. "Be fair to Direct Care before coddling criminals. There was a time when a proposal like this one would not have a chance of becoming law. However, members of the governing extreme-Liberal, New York City-centric Democratic majorities in the Senate and Assembly sponsor the legislation. In this new New York State Legislature, there's just no telling what might be approved."

Prison inmates are currently required to work around 30 hours a week for wages currently ranging between 10 cents and $1.14 per hour for work that can include cleaning and manufacturing goods.

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