Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Buffalo today to speak about women in the workplace.
Gillibrand unveiled a plan she says is aimed at modernizing America’s outdated workplace policies. Gillibrand's "American Opportunity Agenda" would create paid family medical leave, increase the minimum wage, make quality affordable child care accessible, provide universal pre-k, and ensure equal pay for equal work.
"You wouldn't know that women play such a dominant force in our workplace, because the policies that we have today are not that different from the policies we had 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago" Gillibrand said.
Even though the minimum wage in New York State was raised to eight dollars an hour at the beginning of this year, Gillibrand says that isn't enough. "It doesn't get us out of poverty wages. You really have to get to $10.10 an hour to have indexed the minimum wage to inflation over all these years. Our goal is to get to $10.10 an hour, that would be $21,000 a year, and that gets you just above the poverty line if you have two kids at home." Gillibrand's Fair Minimum Wage Act would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 in three 95-cent increments over a three-year period.
Gillibrand is also seeking to more than double the Dependent and Child Care Tax Credit. The current child care tax credit was originally capped at $2,400 in 1981.
Gillibrand spoke at an event hosted by the Western New York Women’s Foundation Pathways to Progress Speaker Series.