New York state workers can indulge their World Cup fever on Thursday with an extended lunch break to root for Team USA in its match against Germany, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. In a letter to Team USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Cuomo said New York state stands strongly behind the U.S. soccer team and was allowing workers to take an extra hour at lunch to watch the game.
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Thursday signed into law a measure raising the minimum wage to the highest of any U.S. state, $11 per hour, by 2017. The move comes as U.S. Democrats nationally are trying to make the minimum wage a key issue ahead of midterm congressional elections in November, framing the effort as a quest of conscience on behalf of the millions of Americans living on wages that have not kept up with rising costs of living. "Raising the minimum wage brings a little relief to the working poor, many of whom do jobs we could not live without and who recycle money right back into the economy," Patrick said in a statement announcing the signing. The law will raise the state's minimum wage in stages from its current level of $8 per hour and follows similar moves by neighboring Connecticut and Vermont.