The government of California has approved a bill that will result in a minimum wage increase in the state. The legislation, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, calls for a $2 increase in minimum wage, a process that will take place gradually throughout the next three years.
The current minimum wage in California is $8/hr, and that will increase to $9/hr in July 2014 and $10/hr in January 2016. Barring new legislation from another state prior to 2016, this will be the highest minimum wage legislation in the United States.
State Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg expressed his support for the new legislation: “For millions of California’s hardworking minimum wage employees, a few extra dollars a week can make a huge difference to help them provide for their families. They deserve a modest boost and after six years, an increase in California’s minimum wage is the right thing to do.”
Assembly member Luis Alejo also commented on the bill, referred to as AB 10.
“AB 10 is about equity,” Alejo stated. “It puts more money directly into the pockets of workers struggling to provide food, clothes and housing for their families. I’m proud to author this measure on behalf of hard working families in California.”
Many low-wage workers praised the increase in wages, but the legislation also has critics from those concerned about California’s unstable economy and other factors.
The Huffington Post explained that a minimum wage increase dragged out over time might be susceptible to issues with inflation, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics claim that “$10 per hour in 2016 is equivalent to roughly $9.36 in today’s dollars.”