JANESVILLE, Wis. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday issued the following statement as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in New York and California:
“I’m proud that today two of our largest states will be increasing the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour – raising the wages of some 9 million workers in this country. Not too long ago, the establishment told us that a $15 minimum wage was unrealistic. Some thought it was ‘pie-in-the-sky.’ But a grassroots movement led by millions of working people refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. Loudly and clearly workers said, ‘yes we can increase the minimum wage, not just to $10.10 an hour, not just to $12 an hour, but to a living wage of $15 an hour.’
“This campaign is about building on these successes so that everyone in this country can enjoy the dignity and basic economic security that comes from a living wage, no matter what state they live in. That includes ending the subminimum wage for tipped workers and persons with disabilities.
“New York is also joining California, New Jersey and Rhode Island in guaranteeing paid family leave. In my view, we must go further by passing the Gillibrand-DeLauro FAMILY Act to guarantee 12 weeks of paid family leave to every worker in America. Secretary Clinton opposes this bill. She believes that a $1.61 a week payroll tax on the average worker is too high a price to pay for this legislation. I disagree.
“As president, I will proudly stand with working families all across our country and fight for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and provide paid family leave to every worker in America. Together, we can rebuild the middle class in this country, reduce poverty, raise wages, combat soaring income and wealth inequality and create millions of jobs.”