Calif. to raise minimum wage to $15: reports
California lawmakers and union leaders have reached a tentative deal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is expected to make the formal announcement as early as Monday.
According to the L.A. Times, the minimum wage will jump from $10 to $10.50 an hour in 2017 and will increase by $1 every year after that until reaching $15 an hour in 2022.
Business with fewer than 25 employees will have an extra year to comply.
“The governor and stakeholders have all been negotiating earnestly and in good faith for some time,” state Sen. Mark Leno told the AP.
The arrangement staves off a potential political showdown in California; union leaders have threatened to take the issue directly to the ballot, and polls have shown public support for minimum wage initiatives.
One union-backed initiative has been working to get on the ballot, and another has already qualified, the L.A. Times reports; its backers are hoping the new agreement will allow them to withdraw the proposal.
Raising the minimum wage has been a talking point of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who will face off in the California primary on June 7.
Sanders has called for raising the federal minimum wage – currently at $7.25 an hour – to $15. Clinton has supported raising the federal minimum wage to $12.