SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Jerry Brown officially announced a push to increase California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The deal is a compromise with labor unions to increase the minimum wage at a slower pace than they had originally intended.
“It’s a matter of economic justice,” Brown said. “It makes sense and will help our entire state do much better.”
In the past, Brown warned against such a steep increase. On Tuesday, he said it’s only fair for workers like Holly Diaz to earn more.
“I love my job,” Diaz, a fast food restaurant worker, said, “but I love my family more, and I should not have to struggle daily to support them.”
The business community says one size doesn’t fit all, and that a $15 per hour minimum wage may make sense in expensive cities like San Francisco, but not in Sacramento.
“You’re going to see higher increases for cost of goods,” Peter Tateishi, President and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, said. “You’re going to see probably a loss of jobs and most likely a reduction in hours for those making minimum wage.”
State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, plans to vote against the bill that he says will push businesses out of the state.
“(The owners) are just rolling up shop and saying ‘it’s easier to do business in Texas or Utah or Nevada and that hurts our people even more in the long run,'” Moorlach said.
The bill includes flexibility to stop wage increases if the economy slows down or unemployment goes up.