California, New York Enact $15 Minimum Wages

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The governors of New York and California both signed laws on Monday pushing minimum wage in their states to $15 per hour.

New York City and its suburbs will have the new minimum wage set by 2021. Other parts of the state will see minimum wage increases at a later time. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who also enacted a 12-week paid family policy, said the bill was the "right thing" to do.

"There is still a right thing and a wrong thing in life," he said Monday. "And New Yorkers do the right thing every time and they did on this bill."

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton joined Gov. Cuomo in New York to celebrate the new minimum wage plan. Clinton said she wanted to "go all the way to Washington" with the state's success.

"What was accomplished here reflects our values and our priorities," she said. "It shows the world what kind of community we are."

In a statement on Monday, President Obama also commended Gov. Cuomo for signing the law.

"This action means more parents won't have to choose between their job and caring for their new children," he said. "It means more workers can earn a higher wage to help make ends meet. Since I first called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and more than 40 cities and counties have acted on their own -- thanks to the strong leadership of elected officials, businesses, and workers who organized and fought so hard for the economic security families deserve. Now Congress needs to act to raise the federal minimum wage and expand access to paid leave for all Americans."

In California Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a $15 minimum wage law that will go into effect by 2022. Critics, including many Republicans, believe the hike could ruin California's economy. Despite Gov. Brown admitting on Monday that "economically minimum wages may not make sense," he still called it an "important day.

"It's not the end of the struggle, but it's a very important step forward. Let's keep it going. We're not stopping here," he said.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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