A Bump in State Minimum Wage Could Make Real Difference for Many Californians

STATE ECONOMY - Asm. Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) has been focusing on living wage issues for a while now, and has pursued an increase in the minimum wage in bills that have been previously defeated twice.

\This year's attempt, AB 10, would make some big changes to how our lowest paid employees live.

Alejo is the author of AB 10, which would give the Golden State its first minimum wage increase since 2008. 

The bill would raise it 25 cents an hour next year, 50 cents in 2015 and an additional 50 cents to $9.25 an hour in 2016. In 2017 and annually thereafter, hourly pay would be adjusted upward automatically, based on the state's inflation rate.(LA Times)  

Now, as you would expect, the Chamber of Commerce is revving up big time on this issue. Our $8 minimum wage is 7th in the nation, but then again, cost of living is generally higher here than most other states. And with President Obama calling for a national increase the issue got a boost here as well. 

But, if Asm. Alejo can't get it through the Legislature, this is one of the most solid issues to have appear on the ballot. It polls well, brings out the progressive base, and can make a real difference for many Californians.

 

(Brian Leubitz holds a law degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P) from the Goldman School at The University of California, Berkeley. He is the publisher and editor of Calitics.com where this piece was first posted.) –cw

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 35

Pub: Apr 30, 2013