Although at press time, there were still few details on the formal budget agreement in New York state, we do know that the final document includes an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour and a new paid sick leave mandate. Business interests in New York had pushed back vigorously against Governor Cuomo’s quest to elevate low-skill worker wages to the $15 mark and give them sick leave, but in the end, the Governor had the votes to get the agreement through. The minimum wage increase will be three-pronged with New York City workers reaching $15 by the end of 2018, employees in Westchester and Long Island getting there by 2021 and the wage for the rest of the state increasing to $12.50 by 2021, ultimately getting to $15 according to a formula that is supposedly based on the state of the economy at the time (I bet we can guess how that will turn out!). The agreement also includes a mandatory paid sick leave policy that at least initially will be paid for by the employee through a $1-per-week payroll deduction (I bet we can guess how that will ultimately turn out as well!). It is also said to include $1 billion in tax cuts spread over several years that targets middle class taxpayers (identified as those making less than $300,000 per year) as well as small businesses. How the agreement defines a small business remains to be seen. More details should be available over the next several days.