California Assembly Seal

AB 10, which would give California its first minimum wage increase since 2008, was approved by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on a party-line vote.

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
April 29, 2013

SACRAMENTO — California’s $8-an-hour minimum wage needs to go up, says Watsonville Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo. And he may be getting the votes he needs to make it happen.

But don’t count on it; Alejo has tried this before.

Alejo is the author of AB 10, which would give the Golden State its first minimum wage increase since 2008. The bill would raise it 25 cents an hour next year, 50 cents in 2015 and an additional 50 cents to $9.25 an hour in 2016. In 2017 and annually thereafter, hourly pay would be adjusted upward automatically, based on the state’s inflation rate.

Raising the minimum wage “is about equity,” he told the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee last week. “It provides modest increases over time and implements a cost-of-living adjustment … to help ensure equity for minimum wage workers.”

Supported by labor unions and advocates for the working poor, the bill was approved by the Democrat-dominated committee on a party-line vote. But business lobbyists such as the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Restaurant Assn. and the Western Growers Assn. plan to fight the bill every step of the way through the Legislature.

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