Gov. Cuomo Speaks in Hudson Valley on Minimum Wage and Paid Family Leave
During a fiery speech in the Hudson Valley, Gov. Andrew Cuomo talked about his plans to raise the state minimum wage and increase paid family leave.
On Monday, over 70 elected officials, labor leaders, and community groups from the Hudson Valley joined Cuomo in his “Strong Families, Strong New York” campaign at the West Haverstraw Community Center.
Cuomo is calling for 12 weeks of job-protected paid family leave for those having a baby or caring for a sick family member.
“We are one of only two countries that doesn’t have some sort of paid family leave program,” Cuomo said at the rally. “This is the United States of America and we’re missing a basic platform of humanity and decency and respect for family.”
When speaking about paid family leave, Cuomo reflected about the time he missed spending with his dying father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
“He knew that he was dying and this was a very important time. And it was a time when I as a son, should have been there with him. When my sisters, his daughters should've been there with him,” Cuomo said.
Paid family leaving is currently being debated. Officials say the need to make sure the plan is fair to businesses. Cuomo believes his plan is.
“Our paid family leave is the most aggressive proposal in the country. It is funded by employees who pay in to a fund, about $0.70 a week. You know what it costs businesses? Nada, niente, scatta, nula, nothing,” he said.
Cuomo also hopes to raise the minimum wage in New York State to $15 dollars an hour. He says he got $15 dollars per hour by taking the minimum wage in the 1970s and indexed it to inflation.
“The average cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing in New York State is $30,000. The minimum wage doesn't do it,” Cuomo proclaimed.
Cuomo is determined to get these initiatives in the state's next budget.