Management & Labor

In Rare Move, California Governor Backs Minimum Wage Boost

In a rare effort to move legislation more quickly, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed a bill that would raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2016.
September 12, 2013
 

In a rare effort to move legislation more quickly, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed a bill that would raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2016.

The governor and labor union leaders said the increase is needed, given that the last hike — of 50 cents an hour to $8 — took effect at the start of 2008.

"The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs," the governor said in a statement Wednesday as lobbyists from both sides worked the 40 Senate members. "This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy."

The bill, which must win final passage in the Legislature before a Friday recess, would raise the rate to $9 in July 2014 and $10 an hour 18 months later.

Employers, including retailers, fast-food franchisees and farmers, denounced the proposal as too much, too fast.

Brown typically has refused to disclose his views on pending legislation, so his statement is seen as a key signal that he wants the bill passed as soon as possible. Leaders of the Senate and the Assembly joined in his statement urging lawmakers to pass the bill.

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