California Senate endorses minimum wage hike
June 2, 2015
The California Senate voted Monday in favor of a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage each of the next two years. [Sacramento Bee]
Senate Bill 3 would bump the minimum wage to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017. The bill also calls for the state’s minimum wage to start increasing annually in 2019 based on inflation.
Minimum wage is currently $9 per hour in California. Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, says that is too low.
“The president of the United States has defined income inequality as the defining challenge of our time,” said Leno, the author of the bill. “Wages are growing at the slowest rate relative to corporate profits in the history of the United States of America.”
Leno proposed a similar minimum wage increase last year. The bill passed the Senate but failed in an Assembly committee.
On Monday, the Senate voted 23-15 in support of Leno’s bill. No Republicans voted for the bill, and one Democrat opposed it.
“It’s a capitalistic society,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. “We need to honor the work of those that are creating jobs, that are paying the taxes.”
The proposed minimum wage hike also faces opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce, which placed SB 3 on its annual list of bills that are “jobs killers.”
Recently, several California cities have adopted their own minimum wage increases. In the next few years, minimum wage will reach $15 an hour in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.