April 8, 2016
By Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Albany, NY – I proudly signed into law a $15 statewide minimum wage plan and 12 weeks of paid family leave – policies that will ensure a stronger, fairer and brighter future in the State of New York.
We are having a long overdue debate in this country about income inequality and how to close the wealth gap. And instead of capitalizing on the public’s discontent and giving in to the politics of fear and division, we in New York chose to come together. We chose to work hand-in-hand, Democrats and Republicans, and pass policies that help bridge the current divide of income and opportunity.
Raising the minimum wage helps prevent the creation of a permanent underclass — an economy with painfully limited mobility in which generation after generation, a family is either a server or served. The current minimum wage is simply impossible to live on. It condemns people to lives of poverty.
Paid family leave helps low-income families maintain financial stability, helping avoid a situation in which the only choice is between losing a job and missing the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one.
I'm proud that our statewide $15 minimum wage will lift the earnings of more than 2.3 million New Yorkers, and that our 12-week paid family leave policy is the longest and most comprehensive policy in the United States.