Last Monday, Governor Cuomo held an event in New York City where he signed the state’s minimum wage increase and paid family leave program into law.  He was joined by a number of Democratic state elected officials, and by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The law gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018 and in Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties by the end of 2021. It will rise to $12.50 in the rest of the state by 2020, eventually reaching $15. In all, about 2.3 million workers are expected to benefit from the increases.

In a newspaper editorial, Gov. Cuomo said that the state’s actions on these two issues can serve as models for the nation:

“We are having a long overdue debate in this country about income inequality and how to close the wealth gap. These two policies, in meaningful ways, help bridge the current divide of income and opportunity….There can be no doubt: These policies will not only lift up the current generation of low-wage workers and their families, but enable future generations to climb the ladder of economic opportunity.”