The bill would raise the basic minimum rate, now $8 an hour, to $9 in July 2014 and to $10 in January 2016. The proposal passed the Assembly in May and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Brown’s fellow Democrats.
“The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs,” Brown said today in a statement. “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”
California last boosted the minimum wage in 2008, when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor. Business groups, such as the California Chamber of Commerce, have said the bill would stifle job growth. Only eight U.S. states, including California, pay $8 per hour or more.
Congress last voted to raise the federal minimum wage in 2007 and President Barack Obama’s call to raise it to $9 an hour from $7.25 has gone nowhere with lawmakers.
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