Friday, October 2, 2015


  IDC Leader Klein travels to Washington, DC; touts progressive accomplishments in New York

State Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein visited the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Obama and senior White House officials to discuss New York State and national priorities for 2016. More than 60 legislators from across the country joined Senator Klein for the discussion, which centered on moving forward progressive legislation like paid family leave, college affordability, raising the minimum wage, enacting criminal justice reform and more.

“Paid family leave has been one of my signature policy issues. It’s imperative that workers receive 12-weeks to take care of a newborn or a loved-one without having to sacrifice their paycheck. I’m honored that President Obama has offered his administration’s assistance to help push forward this important policy so that no one in New York will have to choose between what’s in their bank account and what’s in their heart,” said Senator Klein.

“I was tremendously proud to share with legislators the key to passing full-day universal pre-K, as I did in New York. Helping other states provide free education to their four-year-olds is a priority for the Obama administration and I hope my guidance helps other leaders launch fully-funded UPK programs in their states,” Senator Klein added.

Senior White House officials opened the day with an overview of President Obama’s national priorities and their efforts to support state houses across the country on progressive legislation.

The administration pledged to provide resources, data and send cabinet members to states to support important bills like Senator Klein’s paid family leave legislation currently before the New York State Senate and Assembly.

White House officials and state delegates focused round-table discussions on strategies for 2016. Senator Klein provided insight and advice to other states on New York’s monumental passage of Universal Pre-Kindergarten and his efforts to raise the minimum wage statewide.

The day also provided the opportunity for legislators to connect with colleagues at the state level and build partnerships for the future. Senator Klein met with President Obama and the president pledged his full support for Senator Klein’s paid family leave legislation. Other issues discussed included raising the minimum wage and helping to make college more affordable for students across the country.

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