California raises minimum wage


Jun 8, 2008

A deal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 was reached Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators, making the nation's largest state the first to lift base earnings to that level and propelling a campaign to lift the pay floor nationally.

The increase will boost the wages of about 6.5 million California residents, or 43% of the state’s workforce, who earn less than $15, according to worker group Fight for $15. The proposal had been headed to a statewide referendum. It's now expected to be approved by the state assembly.

“This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change,” Brown said. The governor can temporarily suspend the hikes in the event of poor economic conditions or a large budget deficit.

About a dozen cities have approved bumps in their minimum wages to $15, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and several other municipalities in California.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a $15 pay floor for New York City starting in 2019 and across the state by 2021. A plan is already in place to hike wages for fast-food and state government workers in both New York City and the state.

Increases to $15 in New York and California “clearly would create national momentum for other states to follow their lead,” particularly Democratic- leaning coastal states, said Paul Sonn, NELP’s general counsel.

Under California’s plan, its minimum wage, currently one of the highest in the nation at $10 an hour, would rise to $10.50 in 2017, $11 in 2018 and a dollar each year through 2022.

The pact was also hailed by labor advocates. “This is a very, very significant increase and for the first time would begin to reverse years of falling pay at the bottom” of the income ladder, Sonn said

The California legislation follows a series of one-day strikes by low-wage and other fast food workers demanding a $15 wage over the past 3½ years, protests funded by the Service Employees International Union. The crusade was written off as quixotic when it began but NELP officials credited it with prodding lawmakers as well as companies such as Facebook, Google and Nationwide Insurance to set $15 as base pay.

A $15 wage has even become a centerpiece of the presidential campaign. The Democratic Party adopted a $15 minimum in its platform and Sen. Bernie Sanders supports it. Hillary Clinton has said she backs a $12 pay floor.

Proposals to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to about $10 have been blocked by Republicans in Congress. Republicans and other critics say the state-level increases will force some businesses to replace workers with technology and even shut down in the face of rising costs.

Contributing: Matt Krantz


Jun 26, 2007
Now businesses will cut hours to make up the difference, and hire more part timers to keep payroll down


May 23, 2010
I'm always happy when the minimum wage gets raised. YAY! More people to take money out of the bloated pockets of overpaid CEO's! :appl: :appl:

But then the landlords, check cashing places, used car lots, etc., just raise prices since they know there's more money to be had. Restaurants cost more, retailers charge more.

So there's an inflationary spiral.

And within a year or two, everyone is basically where they were, barely making ends meet.

It's sad. :(sad


Aug 29, 2014
By 2022? That's 6 years away. That's not drastic or sudden, I don't know why people would get up in arms about that.

Alberta elected (for I think the first time ever) an NDP govt. They are going from $10.20/hr - $15 in 3/4 years. Apparently still going forward even with the oil prices which AB relies on. That should be interesting.


Dec 12, 2008
it's like some form of trickle down economics or something, to me. I remember learning about that in school when I was little and raising my hand and asking "why and how that could possibly work" and being told it just would--like billionaires are going to do this out of the goodness of their hearts? Really? Uh, der? THE CEO'S ARE GOING TO GET THEIR MONEY ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. Why is this so freaking HARD to understand?????????? That's how it works here. If a business does badly for a year, the wages are frozen, bonuses are reduced or eliminated altogether, FOR THE REGULAR WORKERS--NOT for the higher ups--they will STILL get their money. OMG why are people so damn DUMB? JD spent 12 or however many years working for Tyson--my dad worked there (before it was Tyson) after he came back from Vietnam and retired from there two years ago and that's how it IS. Keep on deluding yourselves, believers.
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