A bill to raise the minimum wage in California to $10 an hour is rushing through the state legislature and is slated to soon be signed by Governor Jerry Brown, as promised. California’s minimum wage was raised from $7.50 to $8 in 2008. The bill before the legislature incrementally increases the minimum wage to $9 in 2014 and again to $10 in 2016. An older version of the bill would not have raised the minimum wage to $10 until 2018.
“The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs,” Brown said in a statement. “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”
Brown and the Democratic leaders of both houses in the state legislature support the bill, leaving the Republican minority little chance to stop it. “I think it’s pretty much a done deal,” said senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar. The measure is also opposed by a variety of business interests, including grocers and retailers. The California Chamber of Commerce lists the bill as a “job killer” and has urged lawmakers to oppose the measure.
If passed, the bill would put California’s minimum wage markedly higher than those in other states with high minimum wages, including Illinois, Oregon, and Washington. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.