From the Morning Memo:

As state lawmakers look to bolster organizations whose staff care for the most vulnerable in New York, Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein says the Legislature should increase Medicaid reimbursement rates and hike the minimum wage in the state budget together.

“I’m hopeful we can get both the minimum wage increase done in the budget by April 1 and getting some type of increase in the reimbursement at the same time,” Klein, a Bronx lawmaker, said in an interview. “I don’t think we can really do one without the other. We really need to do both.”

Organizations that care for the developmentally disabled at the Capitol on Monday pushed the state to include a boost in Medicaid funding as a $15 minimum wage is being debated.

Klein, meanwhile, has said home care workers need to be taken into consideration when it comes to boosting the minimum wage to $15, up from the current $9. Any increase would likely be phased in over a number of years.

“They’re not doing it for the money,” Klein said. “These are people who are some of the hardest workers you’re ever going to meet.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week opened the door to increasing the minimum wage outside of the state budget if a deal can’t be reached sometime this month.

“The $15 is in the budget, it is tangentially related to the budget,” Cuomo said. “I don’t like to threaten to hold up the budget. You could argue it’s not an essential budget item, that it’s a matter of policy that could be done after the budget.”