(NEW YORK) — The governors of New York and California both signed laws on Monday pushing minimum wage in their states to $15 per hour.
New York City and its suburbs will have the new minimum wage set by 2021. Other parts of the state will see minimum wage increases at a later time. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who also enacted a 12-week paid family policy, said the bill was the “right thing” to do.
“There is still a right thing and a wrong thing in life,” he said Monday. “And New Yorkers do the right thing every time and they did on this bill.”
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton joined Gov. Cuomo in New York to celebrate the new minimum wage plan. Clinton said she wanted to “go all the way to Washington” with the state’s success.
“What was accomplished here reflects our values and our priorities,” she said. “It shows the world what kind of community we are.”
In a statement on Monday, President Obama also commended Gov. Cuomo for signing the law.
“This action means more parents won’t have to choose between their job and caring for their new children,” he said. “It means more workers can earn a higher wage to help make ends meet. Since I first called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and more than 40 cities and counties have acted on their own — thanks to the strong leadership of elected officials, businesses, and workers who organized and fought so hard for the economic security families deserve. Now Congress needs to act to raise the federal minimum wage and expand access to paid leave for all Americans.”
In California Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a $15 minimum wage law that will go into effect by 2022. Critics, including many Republicans, believe the hike could ruin California’s economy. Despite Gov. Brown admitting on Monday that “economically minimum wages may not make sense,” he still called it an “important day.
“It’s not the end of the struggle, but it’s a very important step forward. Let’s keep it going. We’re not stopping here,” he said.
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