California to adopt $15 minimum wage
March 29, 2016
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday that California lawmakers have struck a deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Yearly minimum wage hikes will begin in 2017. [CBS News]
California currently has a $10 minimum wage. It is tied with Massachusetts for the highest statewide minimum wage in the country.
Though California’s minimum wage just increased in January, lawmakers came under pressure to raise it again after a union-sponsored initiative recently qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot. The initiative called for raising the minimum wage to $15 at a more rapid pace than the deal Brown announced Monday. Polls showed California voters would approve the ballot measure.
Under the new agreement, small businesses that have fewer than 26 employees will get an additional year to phase in the increases. California lawmakers still have to formally approve the deal.
More than 6.5 million Californians, or 43 percent of the workforce, currently make less than $15 an hour.
“There is a principle called the living family wage — you can’t expect someone to work if the wages for that work can’t support a family,” Brown said.
However, the governor added that a $15 an hour wage could not support a family.
The California Chamber of Commerce has argued against proposed minimum wage increases, saying they will require small businesses to pay more while making less. The Chamber of Commerce said the $15 minimum wage proposal would hurt the employees it is intended to help.
The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have already approved $15 minimum wage laws. San Francisco’s minimum wage is due to increase to $15 by 2018, and Los Angeles’ minimum wage will rise to $15 by 2020.