ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to make it easier for prosecutors to target wage theft.

The Democrat's proposal would create a new misdemeanor charge of wage theft for employers who improperly withhold an employee's pay.

Current law makes it a felony to repeatedly withhold a worker's pay, but Cuomo's office says the high legal threshold results in few prosecutors.

Cuomo included the change in his state budget proposal to lawmakers, which the Legislature hopes to act on by April 1.

Last year the state Department of Labor returned nearly $35 million in unpaid wages to 35,000 workers.

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