Governor Jerry Brown signed a new measure into law on Wednesday, one that makes California the first state to raise its minimum wage to the $10 mark. Noted as the first minimum-wage hike in five years, the increase will to benefit 2.4 million workers in the state who now earn between $8.00 and $10 per hour.
"A higher minimum wage will mean much needed money in the pockets of millions of workers in the state, and that’s good news for businesses throughout California that will benefit from increased consumer spending," said Gary Gerber, founder and CEO of Sun Light & Power in Berkeley, with 75 employees. "It's encouraging to see the state legislature and the Governor pursue smart policy that will boost economic growth."
Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Minnesota are proposing plans to follow the Golden State's historic increase in minimum wage.
"California is setting the bar for the rest of the states by being the first to raise its minimum wage to double-digits," said Paul Sonn, a Program Director at the National Employment Law Project. With new job growth tiled towards low-paying fields, California is leading the way in tackling this problem by boosting pay for millions of its lowest paid workers."
Although California's minimum wage jump is estimated to produce more than $3.3 billion in new economic growth, not everyone is pleased. As LAist noted back in September, the California Chamber of Commerce slammed the bill "a job killer."
"This is an unprecedented wage hike," Jot Condie, President of the California Restaurant Association, told the L.A. Times, predicting that California's 87,000 restaurants will make up for the increase by pruning both new hires and employees' hours.