Governor Signs Minimum Wage Increase

 photo hoursapartment_zps9fc26c03.jpgBig win for California’s workers

by Brian Leubitz

Those working at the minimum wage have to work several jobs to get by in most of California’s communities. The Governor helped that somewhat today:

Gov. Jerry Brown this morning signed legislation to raise California’s minimum wage by 25 percent, from $8 an hour to $10 an hour by 2016.

The bill, celebrated by Brown and his labor union allies at an event in Los Angeles, promises the first increase in California’s hourly minimum since 2008, when the minimum wage was raised 50 cents to $8. …

Assembly Bill 10, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, will raise the minimum wage from $8 to $9 an hour on July 1, 2014, and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. (SacBee)

Now, under the current minimum wage, the average Californian needs to work 129 hours to pay for an apartment in the state. To be clear, that is working about 18.5 hours per day, seven days per week. And forget about some of the more expensive communities, like San Francisco where one bedrooms can go up to $3,000 per month for a standard unit in the eastern half of the city.

This bill will help somewhat with this issue, but clearly we need to encourage more affordable housing within easy transit distance of our city cores. And we haven’t even gotten to providing greater access to healthy food and quality schools…

All that being said, this is a positive first step for millions of Californians. Congratulations to Gov. Brown, Asm. Alejo, and all those who worked to get this bill passed.