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California Aims To Raise Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

Protesters gathered in downtown San Diego to demand a higher minimum wage, Nov. 10, 2015.
Katie Schoolov
Protesters gathered in downtown San Diego to demand a higher minimum wage, Nov. 10, 2015.

San Diego still has a minimum wage increase measure on the June ballot

Deal Reached To Take California Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour
Deal Reached To Take California Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour GUEST: Ben Adler, bureau chief, Capital Public Radio

Top story today California lawmakers and union leaders have agreed to a tentative deal to raise California's minimum wage. Joining us to discuss this breaking news, is Ben Adler at the But so chief of radio. Think of the joining us. ________________________________________ How would the minimum wage increase take place over the next few years. Tasco Lex ________________________________________ we are expected to get details within the next half-hour as governor is supposed to make this announcement at 12:30 PM. But our understanding is that it will be gradually phased and increased up to $15 per hour by 2022, or four companies, businesses with you within 25 employees. They get an extra gear at 2023. This is a slower pace in timeline than the two potential November ballot members. One would have done it by 2020, the other 2021. So what you are hearing is that this deal delays the implementation a bit. And I believe that is being done so the state can absorb cost and budget more gradually. That has been something that the government has always pushed for. In all areas of the budget. But you are still seeing the business groups and Republicans are not sold on this, even though it will avoid a ballot measure that they would oppose. ________________________________________ What's our business groups and chamber comments Tasco converse upset about. ________________________________________ have not heard specifically from the chamber get. Others have come out of opposition saying that may be the assembly told me $15 per hour makes sense in San Francisco cop but it does not make sense in the central valley because you have completely different types of cost of living in those areas spirits Mac business groups are saying we wish we have been asked to negotiate negotiations. Maybe they would have gone or figured out a way to come up with a deal that they could work with a bit more. For example, here in San Francisco, the business community ended up Ingo K with minimum-wage increase to 12 1/2 dollars over the next several years because of exemptions for tip workers, like restaurant waiters. ________________________________________ There might have been a way to structure it to get business groups to support it. Labor groups may not be on board. As they hold the Trump card. One is qualified in one as well on its way. ________________________________________ What happens to that ballot measure already qualified? ________________________________________ There was a state law passed in 2014 that marks a new change to California's initiative process. In the past when a measure qualified and got the required number of valid voters to reach the ballot, it was it and it was on the ballot. ________________________________________ Right now under this new deal, there is a negotiating. Essentially. The minimum wage has qualified for the ballot. It will be on the ballot unless its proponents resend it. And they are allowed to do so up until late June. If a deal is reached and passed and signed into law before late June, not this measure, others as well. Talks about making a deal and a school bond measure. ________________________________________ This is the new process and we're seeing good in place for the first time. ________________________________________ Now this tentative deal needs to go through some other steps before it gets submitted to the legislature, correct? ________________________________________ It needs to go through committee hearings and floor votes, assembly and Senate. And we are still waiting what the timeline will be. Of course, that news was leaked over the weekend, on Easter weekend. A news conference in about 20 minutes to announce the deal. This does not have a makings of a deal that supporters want to move slowly. Two there is a legitimate question as to whether business groups will be able to rally opposition, notches from Republican Scapa from this is fairly moderate Democrats. ________________________________________ The same Democrats that were able, last year, to have a key provision from the big climate change black by Gov. Brown. Known as SP 350. Strong opposition from business groups and the oil industry. Not necessarily because of that specifically, but partially perhaps because of that. The moderate them Democrats were able to block that key provision of the bill and maybe the business groups will try to mobilize Democrats again. ________________________________________ Let me ask you, lastly, what type of majority would be required in the legislature to pass this deal? ________________________________________ Is a majority vote. No tax increase. Majority in Senate and assembly. Making get a little bit easier for advocates. ________________________________________ It means that some Democrats can drop off and still be support. But if you look at SP 50, something comparable, that Bill was a majority as well. And in its original form could not win 41 votes in the assembly. ________________________________________ I have been speaking with Ben Adler, public radio. Thank you very much for joining us. ________________________________________ You are very welcome Kenny.

California Aims To Raise Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour
"It's a matter of economic justice, it makes sense, and will help our entire state do much better for its citizens," Gov. Jerry Brown said.

Gov. Jerry Brown joined fellow Democrats and labor leaders Monday in touting California's proposal to gradually lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour as an answer to the growing challenge of income disparity.

"It's a matter of economic justice, it makes sense, and will help our entire state do much better for its citizens," the Democratic governor said.

Under the proposal, the state's minimum wage would reach $15 an hour by January 2022, rising in increments starting with a boost from $10 to $10.50 on Jan 1, 2017. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees would have an extra year to comply, and the governor could delay annual increases in times of budgetary or economic downturns.

Wages would increase to keep up with inflation after 2023.

San Diego wage hike unaffected

San Diego voters will still vote on the city’s proposed minimum wage increase on June 7. If that measure passes, San Diego’s minimum wage would be 50 cents higher than the state’s for the rest of 2016 and $1 higher for all of 2017. After then, the state’s wage increases would supercede San Diego’s.

The local wage ordinance would, however, go further than the state’s with the number of paid sick days employers would have to offer. San Diego’s ordinance would would require at least five, while the state’s would have three.

Sean Karafin, executive director of policy and economic research for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said while local businesses had been worried about San Diego’s wage increase, the state’s proposal would be even tougher to accept.

“The sheer volume of this increase is by far the largest concern of small businesses,” he said. “They’re going to have to look for ways to keep their doors open. For a lot of businesses that means cutting benefits, cutting hours or even cutting jobs.”

City Councilman Todd Gloria said the state proposal was “an affirmation of the leadership San Diego showed” when the City Council passed its minimum wage increase in 2014. A signature-gathering campaign backed by the business community ultimately forced the measure to a public vote.

Gloria said the local increase was still important “to help San Diegans pay for rent, food and other everyday household expenses.”

State bill could pass this week

The increases would benefit 5.6 million workers — 32 percent of the statewide workforce, said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles. He called it a "staggering statistic."

"In the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one, no one who works full time should be forced to live in poverty," de Leon said. "Wages have stagnated for decades while consumer costs, corporate profits and executive bonuses have skyrocketed."

Lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate could send the bill to Brown's desk as early as Thursday, said Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. They will amend the new version onto Leno's SB3, a less-sweeping minimum wage bill that cleared the Senate last year but stalled in an Assembly committee.

The bill needs a majority of votes to pass the Legislature, and Democrats control both chambers.

The National Federation of Independent Business warned against adding to what it called an already onerous burden on small businesses. The group's California arm said a 50 percent boost in the minimum wage would further harm the state's already poor business reputation.

Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, said in a statement that the move could actually harm the communities it is designed to assist by adding to the overall cost of living. That may make "the California dream even less attainable for our middle class and low-income families," he said.

Brown said he thinks business will have little choice and must eventually accept the proposed legislation, if only because it is more conservative than alternatives pushed by labor organizations.

Legislative approval of a minimum-wage package would avoid taking the issue to the ballot. One union-backed initiative has already qualified for the ballot, and a second, competing measure is also trying to qualify.

At $10 an hour, California already has one of the highest minimum wages in the nation along with Massachusetts. Only Washington, D.C., at $10.50 per hour is higher. The hike to $15 in California would make it the highest statewide wage in the nation by far, though raises are in the works in other states that might change by the time the plateau is reached in 2022.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.