Assembly Bill 10 has been revised and is back on the 2013 agenda for the California legislature. Sponsored by Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, the latest version of AB 10 would call for a $.50 raise in California’s minimum wage in 2014, bringing it to $8.25.
The bill also calls for $.50 raises in 2015 and 2016 and then ties the wage to inflation from that point on. AB 10, which shared the same name of Alejo’s current proposal but attempted to secure inflation-based raises in 2011 was defeated after it failed to be set for hearing by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Some cities have already hiked minimum wage rates after the state legislature was unable to pass a new law that would do so uniformly throughout California. San Francisco will raise it’s minimum wage rate – already the highest in the nation – to $10.55 in 2013, up from $10.24. San Jose workers who are making minimum wage will receive a $2/hour raise in the new year, as the citywide rate is increased to $10/hour.
The federal minimum wage rate is set at $7.25/hour. California and 17 other states have set minimum wage rates that exceed the national requirement. California’s minimum wage is currently $8.00. Ten states have minimum wage rate increases planned for 2013.
The proposed increase in California is, according to some, a way of giving back buying power to lower-wage workers that has been taken away by inflation. At the same time, opponents of the bill say a higher minimum wage would simply mean less workers on payroll; in order to meet the demands of increased hourly rates, staff would have to be cut.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “New battle coming over California’s minimum wage,” December 17, 2012