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We Shouldn’t Have to Be Impressed with California’s Proposed Minimum Wage

We Shouldn’t Have to Be Impressed with California’s Proposed Minimum Wage

Written by Bryce Covert

After a bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $9 per hour as of July 2014 and then $10 by January 2016 was approved by both houses of the California state legislature on Thursday, it now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk for signature. Brown voiced his support earlier in the week in a press release, saying, “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”

Other places have recently raised their minimum wages. Voters in Albuquerque, NM, raised the wage from $7.50 to $8.50 an hour on election night last year, which will automatically keep pace with the cost of living. Two other cities in California also raised the wage, with Long Beach increasing it to $13 an hour as well as guaranteeing hotel workers five paid sick days a year. When voters are asked to vote on whether to raise the minimum wage, they almost always approve it with substantial majorities, as was the case in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio in past years. Eighty percent of Americans support a national raise to $10.10 an hour, including two-thirds of Republicans.

While the national minimum wage stands at $7.25, which hasn’t been raised since 2009, lawmakers have proposed raising it to $10.10. If it had kept up with inflation since the 1960s, it would be $10.40 today. President Obama has proposed a raise to $9 an hour. But while House Republicans unanimously voted down a raise, 65 Republicans serving in the House or Senate supported an increase when President George W. Bush signed it into law.

Increasing the wage to $10.10 an hour would lift nearly 6 million workers out of poverty, a majority of whom would be women and people of color. It would also help boost the economy and wouldn’t lead to job loss and could actually help businesses.

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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66 comments

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2:39PM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

thank you

6:38AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013

Thank you ThinkProgress, for Sharing this!

12:18AM PDT on Sep 17, 2013

Better than nothing.That translates as £5.67 in sterling. Here are min wage rates in the UK

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
2013 (from 1 October) £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 (current rate) £6.19 £4.98 £ 3.68 £2.65

10:24PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

$10 an hour in California will still not lift anyone out of poverty. It is a slight improvement but it still will not cover basic needs like rent, utilities food and gas to keep getting to work. Almost everyone I know works at least 2 or 3 jobs just to be able to afford the basic necessities of life without any luxuries. Everything in California is more expensive than elsewhere. Rents alone are astronomical here and getting even higher with so many people having their homes foreclosed on and needing to now rent. These are well educated people with great job skills. But jobs are scarce, and it is the employers market, if you don't want to work for a pittance someone else in desperation will, and they know this. They also do not want to offer full time jobs to avoid having to pay for any benefits. They would rather have 2 or 3 part timers than one full time employee. God only knows how expensive things will be in 2016! I'm glad to see minimum wage increased but it is still not enough to make a radical difference in the number of people living in poverty in California.

10:18PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

But,,,but, if the minimum wage is raised, how are the multi-billionaires out there going to maintain their extravagant lifestyles??

5:45PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

YES !!! The min. wage should be raised. Everyone deserves a "living-wage".

2:04PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE IS 7.25 ?? - THIS IS IN THE MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD ?? - SOMETHING'S AMISS HERE....

12:50PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

a no brainer

11:39AM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

ty

10:40AM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

so sad that the inaccurate claims of un-affordability and thus increased cost passed onto consumers is the rant so many are giving despite the data that profitability would be unaffected

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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