Today, the California State Legislature passed SB 3, a measure to increase California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The bill passed the State Assembly 48-26, and the State Senate 26-12. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill into law, which by January 2017 will make California’s minimum wage the highest of any state in the nation.
“This is a major victory for families across the state struggling to make ends meet,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “With the gridlock in the nation’s Capital, California has once again shown it can lead.”
The vast majority of California families of three or more with a full-time minimum wage worker live in poverty. By raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, a broad range of workers, including these families, will be lifted out of poverty.
SB 3 considers the needs of businesses, as the wage increase is phased in over a five year period and gives businesses with under 26 employees more time to adjust. Lawmakers expect some of the increased costs for businesses to be reduced by turnover and increases in worker productivity. Additionally, unlike both minimum wage increase initiatives set to be on the 2016 general election ballot, SB 3 includes economic and budget provisions to allow for pauses in the wage increase during potential economic down times.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Brown and the hard work of many stakeholders, we have taken one big step forward to address income inequality.” said Holden.