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Leno Pushes for Further Minimum Wage Increase

California minimum wage workers will start making $9 an hour this year, but one lawmaker thinks they should be getting more.

Democratic Senator Mark Leno is backing a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2017 and tie it to inflation in the following years.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Sen. Mark Leno's Office

Democratic Sen. Mark Leno represents San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City and portions of South San Francisco.

Business groups lobbied against last year's increase, arguing that it will drive up costs. Leno said he knows businesses owners may balk at another increase.

“But keep in mind that the benefit to increasing the minimum wage is that it does create greater stability in the workforce," he said. "It’s expensive when employees regularly leave because they can’t survive on the salaries they’re receiving.”

Nationally, President Barack Obama said he’s raising the federal minimum wage for some workers. And conservative activist Ron Unz has garnered attention recently for pushing California to raise the wage.

The increase recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown increases the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.

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