Read

Search form

California's Governor Brown Signs Bill Raising Minimum Wage to $10 Per Hour

California's Governor Brown Signs Bill Raising Minimum Wage to $10 Per Hour
Thu, 9/26/2013 - by Al Jazeera
This article originally appeared on Al Jazeera America

Calling it a "matter of justice," Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that will raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour within three years, giving the state one of the highest rates in the nation.

The legislation, signed at a ceremony in downtown Los Angeles, will gradually increase the current minimum of $8 an hour to $9 on July 1, 2014, then to $10 on January 1, 2016.

The increase is the first to the state's minimum wage in six years, and comes amid a national debate over whether it is fair to pay fast-food workers, retail clerks and others wages so low that the workers often have to hold second or third jobs.

Brown called the bill an overdue piece of legislation that will help working-class families and close the gap between "workers at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy."

The governor was joined by state legislators and business owners who supported the measure, saying increased wages would boost California's economy.

The state Senate approved the bill, AB10, on a 26 to 11 vote Sept. 12, and the Assembly followed hours later on a 51-25 vote. Both chambers voted largely along party lines.

Miguel Aguilar, a worker at a Los Angeles car wash, thanked the governor for signing the bill.

"We work really long hours," said Aguilar, who has a union contract. "Now, with the increase in the minimum wage, we'll be able to sustain an income that can support our families."

Supporters said the bill by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, would help workers who fell behind during the recent recession.

"A higher minimum wage will mean much-needed money in the pockets of millions of workers in the state, and that's good news for businesses throughout California that will benefit from increased consumer spending," Gary Gerber, founder and CEO of Sun Light & Power in Berkeley, said in a statement.

In opposing the measure, Republican lawmakers said increased wages would encourage businesses to cut jobs and automate.

The California Chamber of Commerce was against the bill, saying it will drive up businesses' costs by ratcheting up other wages and workers' compensation payments.

"Small business owners will now be forced to make tough choices, including reducing employee hours, cutting positions entirely and, for many, closing their doors altogether," said John Kabateck, head of the California branch of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Federal law sets a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, but California is among 19 states and the District of Columbia that set a higher state minimum.

The federal minimum provides $15,080 a year, assuming a 40-hour workweek; that amounts to $50 below the federal poverty line for a family of two. The median national salary, meanwhile, is $40,350. More than 15 million workers nationally earn the national minimum, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

President Barack Obama has sought an increase of the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Among states, Washington has the top minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, an amount pegged to rise with inflation. But some cities have set higher rates, including San Francisco, which has the nation's highest minimum wage at $10.50 an hour.

The California bill does not index the rate to inflation, meaning it would remain at $10 unless the legislature raises it again in the future.

Originally published by Al Jazeera America

Sign Up

Article Tabs

rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

free market orthodoxy, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, deregulation, monopolies, rightwing economics, voodoo economics

Concentrated corporate power must be dismantled and democracy substituted for it – a global project that will take generations but is likely to develop momentum as society experiences ever-greater crises.

free market economics, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, anarchism, communism

The spectacle of millions adhering to such a breathtakingly stupid ideology as libertarianism would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

Rokhsana Fiaz, Newham council, leftist governments, people power, Democratic Socialists of America, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, banking crimes

In Newham, East London, Rokhsana Fiaz took power in May with a radical manifesto to alleviate the council's housing crisis and increase citizen participation. She is following through, and change is afoot.

In a culture that preaches escapism, demands smiles and a Stepford Wife happiness that defies reality and central nervous systems, what does joy – and furthermore, activism – mean?

ICE detention centers, ICE detainees, immigrant rights, illegal immigration, Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project

Isabel's husband was detained by ICE. Then she received a call from the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, part of a wave of new groups that bail out detained immigrants. They wanted to help.

rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

movement building, movement of movements, movement stages, National Improved Medicare for All,

One way we measure success is by recognizing the growing popular movements across multiple fronts of struggle. Another way is by observing the actions of our opponents.

GOP tax scam, pass-through income, giveaways to billionaires, tax cuts for the rich, Treasury Department

The Treasury Department not only sided with banking lobbyists’ definition of “financial services,” but its new rule’s fine print echoed their interpretations of the 2017 federal tax law.

free market orthodoxy, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, deregulation, monopolies, rightwing economics, voodoo economics

Concentrated corporate power must be dismantled and democracy substituted for it – a global project that will take generations but is likely to develop momentum as society experiences ever-greater crises.

rising inequality, wealth inequality, wealth gap, World Inequality Report, GOP tax cuts,

The income share of the poorest half of Americans is declining while the richest have grabbed more. In Europe, it’s not happening.

Posted 5 days 17 hours ago
free market economics, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, anarchism, communism

The spectacle of millions adhering to such a breathtakingly stupid ideology as libertarianism would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

Posted 5 days 16 hours ago
free market orthodoxy, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, deregulation, monopolies, rightwing economics, voodoo economics

Concentrated corporate power must be dismantled and democracy substituted for it – a global project that will take generations but is likely to develop momentum as society experiences ever-greater crises.

Posted 4 days 20 hours ago
GOP tax scam, pass-through income, giveaways to billionaires, tax cuts for the rich, Treasury Department

The Treasury Department not only sided with banking lobbyists’ definition of “financial services,” but its new rule’s fine print echoed their interpretations of the 2017 federal tax law.

Posted 3 days 21 hours ago
rising U.K. poverty, U.K. housing costs, soaring rents, Universal Income, Brexit

Britain is experiencing a financial crisis on a level not seen since the 2008 credit crunch, with average household expenses now higher than average household income for the first time in 30 years.

Posted 1 day 20 hours ago
GOP tax scam, pass-through income, giveaways to billionaires, tax cuts for the rich, Treasury Department

The Treasury Department not only sided with banking lobbyists’ definition of “financial services,” but its new rule’s fine print echoed their interpretations of the 2017 federal tax law.

anti-Fascist, demonstrators, white supremacists, white nationalists, Unite the Right, Charlottesville violence, neo-Nazis, KKK, Ku Klux Klan

A small group of white nationalists marched through downtown Washington on Sunday and were met at the rally site by thousands of counterdemonstrators denouncing racism and white supremacy.

movement building, movement of movements, movement stages, National Improved Medicare for All,

One way we measure success is by recognizing the growing popular movements across multiple fronts of struggle. Another way is by observing the actions of our opponents.

ICE detention centers, ICE detainees, immigrant rights, illegal immigration, Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project

Isabel's husband was detained by ICE. Then she received a call from the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, part of a wave of new groups that bail out detained immigrants. They wanted to help.

free market economics, libertarianism, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, privatization, socialism, capitalism, anarchism, communism

The spectacle of millions adhering to such a breathtakingly stupid ideology as libertarianism would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.