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Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Leno Bill Raising Minimum Wage Clears Labor Committee

SB 935 Increases Floor Wage in Three Steps, Creates Automatic Adjustments Starting in 2018

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SACRAMENTO – Legislation that would help lift California’s low-wage earners out of poverty by raising the state’s minimum wage cleared its first hurdle today, passing the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee with a 3-1 vote.

SB 935, authored by Senator Mark Leno, raises the minimum wage in three steps, starting at $11 an hour in 2015 and increasing an additional $1 per hour in both 2016 and 2017. Beginning in 2018, the minimum wage would be adjusted annually to the rate of inflation.

“Millions of hard-working Californians and their families live in poverty and are forced to rely on public assistance – despite holding full-time jobs,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Accelerating an increase to the state’s minimum wage will help reduce income inequality within our communities, stimulate spending in our economy, and give low-income workers the respect they deserve for hard work.”

The Census Bureau reports that nearly a quarter of California’s 38 million residents, or 24 percent, live in poverty. An employee working full time earning $8 an hour brings home just $15,360 annually before taxes. The federal poverty level for a family of four with a single-wage earner is $23,850. San Francisco already has a higher minimum wage than the state and is considering raising it even higher. Los Angeles is also considering raising its minimum wage for hotel workers to $15.37 per hour.

Women are especially impacted by the minimum wage. About six in 10 minimum wage workers in California are women, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

• Category: California, National • Tags: Ali Bay