It’s a historic day in California with the state’s minimum wage expected to increase to $15 an hour and triggering much doom and gloom among conservatives in the state. Here’s what the LA Times had to say about the bill Governor Brown will sign on Monday:
Under the plan, the state’s hourly minimum wage would increase from the current $10 to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, then to $11 the following year, and increase by $1 annually until 2022.
Businesses with fewer than 26 employees would get an additional year to comply, and Brown and his successors could delay the increases by one year in the case of an economic downturn. Assuming no pauses, the minimum wage would increase each year based on inflation starting in 2024.
All but two Democrats — Assembly members Tom Daly of Anaheim and Adam Gray of Merced — voted for the increase, and not a single Republican in either chamber voted for the measure. Both raised concerns about the automatic cost-of-living increases that would raise the wage higher than $15 an hour as soon as 2024.
The plan passed the state Assembly earlier Thursday, 48 to 26, after opponents complained it was rushed and did not include a wide group at the negotiating table during what at times was an emotional debate in both houses of the Legislature.
Democratic lawmakers exhorted their colleagues to think of the difficulties of working families in a state with large income inequality and high housing costs.
So Daly was one of two Democrats who voted “no?” We asked his office for an explanation and got one.
“Since I came to the Capitol in 2012, I have made it clear that I agree with and support smart and careful increases in the minimum wage,” said Daly. “I have also made it clear that I do not support indexing the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index. I supported the minimum wage increase ($8.00 – $10.00) approved three years ago after a proposed CPI clause was removed, and I would support today’s proposal if the CPI is removed. I believe the authority of raising the minimum wage should remain with the Legislature and Governor, and not be continually tied to annual inflation measures. And I don’t believe we should put future spending in the state budget on auto-pilot, without a reliable revenue source. For these reasons, I regrettably will be voting no on this measure.”
The state Department of Finance reports that the wage increase would cost $3.6 billion annually by 2023. The wage hike also will boost the pay of workers whose salaries are tied to the minimum wage.