New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law on April 4 which is set to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.
The ceremony took place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan with several labor leaders, advocates and minimum wage workers as attendants.
“This new economy is not a fair economy for the middle class and the working families of this country,” Cuomo said at the signing. “They feel that the American dream is slipping away.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also joined Cuomo shortly after saying, “This is a real watershed. And I know it is going to sweep our country.”
“What the governor did shows the way to getting an increased minimum wage at the federal level,” Clinton said. “We need to build on what has been accomplished in New York and go all the way to Washington and raise the minimum wage for everybody.”
Before this week, the federal minimum wage had remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009.
According to Pix 11, the law will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018 for businesses with more than 10 employees.
For smaller businesses, it will take until the end of 2019; In Long Island and Westchester County, the rate will hit $15 at the end of 2021, reported the New York Daily News.
As for the rest of the state, the minimum wage will increase to $12.50—additional increases will be determined by the governor’s budget division and the Department of Labor, according to the Daily News.
President Obama also shared his thoughts on New York’s wage increase—which happened the same day California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill raising his state’s minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour by the year 2023:
“This action means more parents won’t have to choose between their job and caring for their new children. It means more workers can earn a higher wage to help make ends meet,” Obama said.