SB 3 Increases Floor Wage in Two Steps: $11 an hour in 2016 and $13 in 2017
Automatic Adjustments Start in 2019
June 1, 2015 - SACRAMENTO – Legislation that would help lift California’s low-wage earners out of poverty passed the Senate today.Senate Bill 3, authored by Senator Mark Leno, would raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour in 2016 and $13 in 2017. The bill is jointly authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva, D-Chino.
“Despite our recovering economy, millions of Californians, many of them children, continue to live in poverty,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Full-time workers in this state should not be forced onto public assistance simply because they earn the minimum wage. It is time to lift up poor Californians and reward all hardworking employees with the resources they need to put food on the table for their families. Sub-poverty wages should not be legal in California.”
California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly a quarter of the state’s 38 million residents live in poverty. An employee working full time earning $9 an hour brings home just $18,000 annually before taxes, which is just 75 percent of the federal poverty line for a family of four. As a result, many cities have taken the matter into their own hands, raising local minimum wages either by government action or at the ballot box. San Francisco has approved a minimum wage hike of $15, and Oakland has a $12.25 minimum wage. In addition, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a preliminary plan to pay its lowest-earning workers $15 an hour by 2020.
“California’s economic resurgence hasn’t changed the fact that we still have the highest poverty rate in the nation,” said Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, principal co-author of SB 3. “Senator Leno’s SB 3 to raise the state’s minimum wage from $9 an hour to $13 by 2017 is a necessary first step in combating poverty in the swollen ranks of our state’s working poor.”
Women are especially impacted by the minimum wage. About six in 10 minimum wage workers in California are women, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
“SB 3 is the best opportunity that the state has to make a significant impact on poverty this year,” said Michael Herald, legislative advocate with the Western Center on Law & Poverty. “Low wage workers have suffered through decades of wage stagnation and rising inequality. SB 3 will put billions of dollars in the pockets of hard working Californians who will spend it on the necessities of life. The vote by the Senate today is a major victory, and we look forward to seeing it now pass the Assembly.”
SB 3 increases California’s current minimum wage of $9 per hour in two steps, to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017. Beginning in 2019, the minimum wage would be adjusted annually to the rate of inflation. The bill is co-sponsored by the Western Center on Law and Poverty, United Food and Commercial Workers, SEIU California State Council and California Partnership. SB 3 is also supported by a long list of organizations and government leaders, including the Women’s Foundation of California, California Teachers Association, Children’s Defense Fund of California, California Association of Food Banks and California Catholic Conference of Bishops.
“Lifting the minimum wage is the right policy at the right time for tens of thousands of workers who are banking on a future that is bright with possibilities, not barriers,” said Sam Rodriguez, director of legislative affairs for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
In addition to SB 3, five other bills authored by Senator Leno passed the Senate today. They include: SB 441 (affordable housing for San Francisco), SB 518 (trauma recovery services for victims of crime), SB 614 (certification for peer support specialists), SB 694 (preventing wrongful incarcerations) and SB 731 (respecting gender identity in foster youth placements).
UNOFFICIAL BALLOT MEASURE: SB 3 AUTHOR: Leno
TOPIC: Minimum wage: adjustment.
LOCATION: SEN. FLOOR MOTION:
Senate 3rd Reading SB3 Leno (AYES 23. NOES 15.)
(PASS) AYES **** Allen, Beall, Block, De León, Hall, Hancock, Hernandez, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leno, Leyva, Liu, McGuire, Mendoza, Mitchell, Monning, Pan, Pavley, Wieckowski, Wolk
NOES **** Anderson, Bates, Berryhill, Cannella, Fuller, Gaines, Huff, Moorlach, Morrell, Nguyen, Nielsen, Roth, Runner, Stone, Vidak
NO VOTE RECORDED **************** Galgiani, Glazer