The Latest: California Assembly OKs highest minimum wage


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a proposal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

The California Assembly has green-lighted a plan that would create the highest statewide minimum wage in the nation of $15 an hour by 2022.

The proposal was passed Thursday and now moves on to the state Senate for consideration.

Democrats who control both legislative chambers hailed the increase as a boon to more than 2 million of California’s poorest workers and an example to the nation as it struggles with a growing gap between rich and poor.

Republicans echoed fears from business owners and economists that the annual increases — eventually tied to inflation — would compound California’s image as hostile to business.

The Assembly passed SB3 with a 48-26 vote.

The state of New York is considering a similar measure.

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11:40 a.m.

While California lawmakers consider the nation’s first $15 an hour statewide minimum wage, New York state lawmakers are eyeing a similar move.

New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers continued to negotiate Thursday over Cuomo’s proposal to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 by the end of 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 elsewhere in the state.

New York lawmakers face a Friday deadline to pass a budget.

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12 30 a.m.

California Assembly members are debating a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 by 2022.

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11:20 p.m.

California state lawmakers are poised to enact the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage, with gradual increases to $15 by 2022.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are promoting the boost not only as a matter of economic justice, but as an example to a nation struggling with a growing gap between rich and poor.

Opponents say Thursday’s planned votes in the Assembly and Senate will further harm California’s already poor business climate.

Democrats need only majority votes to send SB3 to Brown, and they control majorities in each legislative chamber.

Under the bill, the state’s minimum wage would reach $15 an hour by January 2022, starting with a boost from $10 to $10.50 next year.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees would have an extra year to comply.