New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver plans to propose a minimum wage hike on Monday, which would lift the state's wage floor to $8.50 from $7.25 an hour. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and New Jersey are also considering minimum wage increases, and Delaware just passed one, as issues of income inequality, poverty, and social mobility continue to grip the national consciousness.
"It is impossible to live in this city on $15,000 a year," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supports the minimum wage increase, told The New York Times. New York is the sixth most expensive state in the union, reports CNBC. It also has the 15th highest poverty rate, and the most towering level of income inequality, according to the 2009 American Communities Survey -- somewhere between Chile and Honduras, if it was ranked with the world's nations.