April 5, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Sacramento, CA – California Governor Jerry Brown announced March 28 that he had reached a deal with state legislators and labor leaders to introduce a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. He called the bill, which would make California the first state with a $15 minimum, a matter of “economic justice.” Labor activists say 43% of California workers make less than $15.
If passed, the measure would raise the minimum from $10 to $10.50 on Jan. 1, to $11 in 2018, and by $1 an hour in each of the next four years. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees would not have to pay $15 until 2023. The deal came six days after an initiative that would raise the minimum to $15 by 2021 was certified for the November ballot. SEIU-United Healthcare Workers, its sponsor, has said it would continue to “push ahead,” but indicated it might drop the campaign if the state law is enacted. SEIU’s state council is collecting signatures for another initiative that would reach $15 in 2020. Read more