By Miriam Raftery
September 25, 2013 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law Assembly Bill 10, a measure that will raise California’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9 starting July 1, 2014 and to $10 an hour on January 1, 2016.
“The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs,” said Governor Brown. “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”
AB 10 was opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce. The group’s website states that the bill will “will continue to increase costs on employers of all sizes, regardless of other economic factors or costs that California employers are struggling with to sustain their business.”
Assembly Brian Jones (R-Santee), also opposed the hike. “I am afraid the intentions of the author will backfire and this will hurt the middle class and working poor the most," he said. "It is clear California is not a business-friendly state, but this act will not just hurt businesses – it will drive up payroll costs so those businesses hire fewer people, or even worse, cut the hours of hard-working Californians trying to raise their families.”
But Speaker John Perez contends raising wages will boost the bottom line for some businesses.
“The real winner here is the economy. A $10 hour minimum wage boosts earnings by $4,000 a year and will put $2.6 billion dollars back into the hands of workers,” said Speaker Pérez. “This is money that will be spent at grocery stores, on school supplies and invested in education, and that ultimately strengthens the recovery and ensures California’s job market continues growing faster than the rest of the nation.”
More than 90 percent of minimum wage workers in California are over the age of 20, and 25 percent of California children – nearly 2.4 million – live in a household with one minimum wage-earning parent.
“For millions of California’s hard working minimum wage employees, a few extra dollars a week can make a huge difference to help them provide for their families,” said Senate President pro Tempore Steinberg. “They deserve a modest boost and after six years, an increase in California’s minimum wage is the right thing to do.”