California’s rate to reach $10
At the start of the New Year, millions of workers in 19 states – including California – and dozens of cities across the United States will celebrate an increase in the minimum wage.
California is expected to raise its minimum wage to $10 for employers with 25 employees or less. For those with 26 employees or more, the minimum wage will be $10.50. The increase applies to workers in all industries.
This year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2022.
The state’s minimum wage will increase every year by 50 cents in 2018 and 2019 and by $1 from 2019 to 2022.
“Morally and socially and politically, [minimum wages] make every sense because it binds the community together and makes sure that parents can take care of their kids in a much more satisfactory way,” Brown said, adding that labor is a “part of living in a moral community.”
The California Senate voted 26-12 on the measure, and while many have praised the law for increasing wages for low-income workers, the bill had its share of dissenters.
California Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) argues that the wage hike puts new workers at the disadvantage and will pave the way for mechanization in several industries.
“You will go to a hamburger store, and you won’t have a young person or elderly person to wait on you,” Nielsen told the Los Angeles Times.
A poll conducted by USC and the Los Angeles Times found that 64 percent of Californians support raising the minimum wage; and 74 percent of those that make less than $30,000 a year as well as 72 percent of Californians aged 18-29 support the move.
Nationally, 53 percent of Americans believes raising the minimum wage will benefit workers, while about a third view the wage hike as a negative.
The City of Los Angeles has embraced the movement for higher minimum wage. Last year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a measure to raise the citywide minimum wage steadily each year and to $15 by the year 2020.
“This is about the idea, that American ideal, that when someone works hard, they should be able to support themselves, and they should be able to support their families,” Garcetti said in a speech in South LA on June 13, 2015.
The other 18 states increasing their minimum wages in 2017 include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington state, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Massachusetts and Washington state will increase their minimum wages to $11, boasting the highest minimum wage in the country. Arizona, however, will have the largest increase from $8.05 to $10. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)