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California Is First To Raise Minimum Wage To $15

Governor Jerry Brown will sign the bill on Monday.
California Is First To Raise Minimum Wage To $15

Earlier this week, we reported that California legislators had reached an agreement to raise California's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. Now, that's about to be reality.

Sacramento Bee reports:

With his planned signature in Los Angeles on Monday, Brown will avert a costly ballot fight, give California the nation’s highest wage and make it the first state to vindicate organized labor’s national “Fight for 15” rallying cry. Labor officials were triumphant.

“The credit for making history today belongs to the workers who spoke out and risked it all, the labor unions and community organizations who supported them, and elected leaders here in California who listened,” Service Employees International Union Local 2015 president Laphonza Butler, who had vowed to pull back an SEIU-backed minimum wage ballot initiative if the bill passes, said in a statement. “As a result, millions of Californians are on the path out of poverty.”

Wage hikes would occur annually, beginning with a boost to $10.50 in 2017 for businesses with 26 or more employees, $11 in 2018 and another dollar each year thereafter.

After the wage hits $15 it could continue to rise with inflation. Smaller businesses would have an additional year to implement each annual bump. The bill would also provide in-home health aides three annual sick days. According to the Department of Finance, a $15 wage would cost California about $4 billion a year.

The Fight for $15 goes on, too. New York is reportedly close to an agreement on a $15 minimum wage, too. New York's will actually rise faster than California's, if it's adopted.

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