Legislature approves minimum wage increase, sending historic measure to Gov. Brown

“In a move that puts California at the forefront of efforts to raise wages for low-income workers across the country, the Legislature approved a sweeping plan Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years, boosting the future paychecks of millions of the state’s workers,” as the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

“The Senate voted 26 to 12 — with loud cheers of ‘Si se puede’ from the gallery above — to give final approval and send the measure to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk less than one week after a legislative compromise. Brown will sign the wage hike into law in Los Angeles on Monday.

‘”At its core, this proposal is about fairness,’ Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said just before the vote.

“Under the plan, the state’s hourly minimum wage would increase from the current $10 to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, then to $11 the following year, and increase by $1 annually until 2022.

“Businesses with fewer than 26 employees would get an additional year to comply, and Brown and his successors could delay the increases by one year in the case of an economic downturn. Assuming no pauses, the minimum wage would increase each year based on inflation starting in 2024.

“All but two Democrats — Assembly members Tom Daly of Anaheim and Adam Gray of Merced — voted for the increase, and not a single Republican in either chamber voted for the measure. Both raised concerns about the automatic cost-of-living increases that would raise the wage higher than $15 an hour as soon as 2024.

“The plan passed the state Assembly earlier Thursday, 48 to 26, after opponents complained it was rushed and did not include a wide group at the negotiating table during what at times was an emotional debate in both houses of the Legislature.

“Economists have estimated the measure would increase the pay of 5.6 million workers across the state — nearly 1 in 3. No state has a minimum wage higher than California’s $10 an hour, and this deal will put California on a path to remain the highest in the country.”

The rest of the article is here.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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3 Responses to Legislature approves minimum wage increase, sending historic measure to Gov. Brown

  1. Chip Wilder says:

    In the self written “news article” Dahle says “there are so many other things the legislature could do to reduce the cost of living and help poor people” — really?
    Dear Brian – You have brought forth absolutely zero legislation to help poor people, let alone reduce the cost of living. We can see your record as easy as typing in “Google”.
    All this article is can be summed up as a “Dahle Press Release”. Our Northern California representatives, do nothing but pat each other on the back when they have voted against the people of their own districts.

  2. Steve Willer says:

    IF a business can’t pay employees something close to a minimum wage, one that people can actually get by on without public assistance, then maybe that business isn’t worth having in the community.

    I love to see a study with taking a fast food menu, KMart’s store items, and Dollar General current prices, give the employees a raise to $15 and hour, how much would costs go up on store items to maintain the current level of profit and pay workers $15 an hour. Then do the same with some local mom and pop businesses and see what the numbers show. What isn’t going to be shown is with a study like that is the potential for increased business because there will be people with more money and will spend more. What also won’t be shown is how much less “business” is going to be at a county’s Dept of Social Services. (I can tell you currently the one in Nevada County has business booming)

    Businesses come and go all the time for a variety of reasons, often times because what the owner thought was a great idea turns out to not be and they don’t have the customer support.

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