Today, USA Today Network published an op-ed by Governor Kathy Hochul to celebrate Mother’s Day and highlight the meaningful steps New York has taken to support moms across the State. The text of the op-ed is available below and can be viewed online here.
This Mother’s Day, New Yorkers will gather with loved ones and recognize the mothers in our lives — including my daughter-in-law, who became a mom for the first time just one year ago.
But we can’t just buy presents and bouquets on one day each May. Moms deserve our support every single day of the year.
That’s why in my latest budget, I laid out a bold vision to not only make New York more affordable and livable, but directly lend a hand to our moms who need more help than ever before.
Supporting New York moms and childcare
First, we addressed a major cost burden for new moms — childcare. This is personal because as the first mother and grandmother to lead New York, I understand the concerns and anxieties of young families.
When I became a mom, there were no affordable childcare options available to me, and I had to quit a job I loved on Capitol Hill to raise my children. Thousands of New York parents — moms in particular — make this same sacrifice every year.
As governor, I’m proud that we expanded childcare options and lowered costs for families. We expanded childcare eligibility to 113,000 more families by raising the income limit to the maximum allowed by federal law. Additionally, we expanded the Child Tax Credit to include children under four years old, which will benefit more than 525,000 families and nearly 630,000 children.
To bring down costs, we decreased the amount parents pay for childcare by ensuring that families receiving assistance will contribute no more than one percent of their annual income. On top of that, we are launching an Employer-Sponsored Child Care pilot program.
Together, these programs will lift a financial burden off the shoulders of working moms so they can focus on other important expenses like diapers and formula.
We are working for New York’s kids
As kids grow up, I know every parent is fully invested in ensuring their child receives a world-class education. To strengthen schools and keep our kids on track, we made the largest investment for schools in our state’s history.
We’re taking critical steps toward ensuring every child in New York gets the high-quality education they deserve in a system that prioritizes equal opportunity.
And for our kids to be successful in school, they need nutritious food to thrive. Our budget provides $134 million to schools serving low-income populations so that students can eat breakfast and lunch for free, regardless of family income. But there’s more we can do to tackle the affordability crisis head-on.
We’re making progress on wages
High inflation hurts the most vulnerable New Yorkers in the pocketbook, especially women and people of color. There are nearly 900,000 minimum wage workers in New York. Many are single moms.
While wages have remained relatively constant, the average monthly cost of goods and energy for low-income households has increased by more than thirteen percent over the last two years.
The solution is simple: if costs rise, so must wages.
Starting in 2024, we’re raising our state’s minimum wage to $16 in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and $15 elsewhere. This will increase by fifty cents in both 2025 and 2026. And beginning in 2027, our state’s minimum wage will be indexed to inflation — guaranteeing that if costs rise, workers aren’t left behind. This plan is a lifeline that protects against labor exploitation and provides an important measure of security for families.
This Mother’s Day, New York is taking bold action to make our state more affordable and livable for families. While there is still more work to do, our moms deserve nothing less.
Source : Governor