The New York Assembly plans to hold a series of hearings on raising the state's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour next year.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Keith Wright, who chairs the Labor Committee, have introduced legislation to raise the hourly minimum from $7.25 and index it to inflation.
Silver says the hearings are the next step in the process and communities need to speak up.
Hearings are scheduled April 23 in Manhattan, April 24 in Syracuse and May 11 in Buffalo.
The minimum wage was set in 2007 at $7.15 in New York and two years later raised by 10 cents with the federal minimum wage.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and 15 other states have higher rates.
Business opponents say it will increase their costs.