Sacramento Democrats Balk at Minimum Wage Hike

Even some Democrat legislators are averse to proposed California legislation to raise the minimum wage faster and further than last year’s Assembly Bill 10. Minimum wage will rise from $8 to $9 an hour on July 1, 2014, according to California’s AB 10 passed in 2013, but just before implementation, State Senator Mark Leno, (D-San Francisco), is pushing hard for a new bill, Senate Bill 935, which would accelerate and boost increases.

Author of AB 10, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, (D-Watsonville), has come out criticizing the bill as AB 10 has not even gone into effect yet and SB 935 undoes promises made during the passage of AB10. Capitol Alert reported Alejo as saying that the new bill would undo agreements made with “business interests” that specified no cost-of-living adjustments.

Democrat Senators Correa, Galgiani, Hueso, and Roth did not vote in the final Senate floor vote to pass SB 935. After moving to the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, the bill failed to pass out of committee and listed no recorded vote for Democrats Alejo and Holden; however, a unanimous committee vote has granted reconsideration for the bill.

Alejo’s attempts to pass a minimum wage increase prior to the final version of AB 10 had included a cost-of-living adjustment, including a 2011 version of AB 10 and AB 1439 proposed in 2012. Both AB 1439 and the early version of AB 10 would have raised the minimum wage to $8.50 with subsequent cost-of-living adjustments; however, AB 10’s final version determined increase to $9 an hour July 1, 2014 and $10 January 1, 2016, according to Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Bill Analysis.

Breitbart News reported on the proposed SB 935 in early June, recording the accounts of those negatively affected by a $15 minimum wage hike in the city of SeaTac, Washington. Assunta Ng of Northwest Asian Weekly spoke with SeaTac workers who have had their wages increased, but are not happy about the resulting changes including lost benefits, increased costs, and unequal treatment between union and non-union workers.

In addition Breitbart News reported the following:

According to Senate Floor Analysis, the implementation of the bill will cost the state a minimum estimated amount of $82 million through 2018. That does not include additional increases in payments to private individuals. The fiscal effect analysis states, “The related impact of this bill’s raising the minimum wage is unknown, but likely to be in the high tens of millions of dollars annually.”


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