California Democrats are taking a page from Oregon’s book and appear set to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour despite gloom and doom predictions from Republicans.
Lawmakers are prepared to vote for a gradual increase of wages that would not only give workers $15 an hour by 2022, it would also tie future wage raises to inflation, which has been a longtime goal of progressives such as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
According to the Los Angeles Times :
“The negotiated deal would boost California’s statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 50-cent increase in 2018 and then $1-per-year increases through 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply, delaying their workers receiving a $15 hourly wage until 2023.”
Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic allies compromised with labor unions on the raise after unions successfully got wage initiatives on the November ballot that would have increase the wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour immediately rather than over a period of time.
The new deal would give businesses and the government time to prepare for wage increases instead of having to deal with them all at once.
But the bottom line is that California is about to join Oregon as the second blue state to step up to lead the nation on the minimum wage and treating workers well.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed her state’s minimum wage bill into law earlier this month, drawing praise from labor unions and President Obama, who called the effort one that “will boost the paychecks of hardworking Americans and help support millions of workers trying to make ends meet” and urged Congress to do the same.
But Republicans refuse to do anything that will help American workers at a time when wealthy CEOs are raking in profits at record numbers while their hardworking employees struggle to survive on a daily basis. Many Republican-controlled state legislatures have even passed laws banning cities and counties from raising the local minimum wage on their own, which makes it incredibly clear that Republicans don’t care about the the strife of workers and their families while Democrats are consistently proving that they are committed to helping Americans do more than just get by.
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