Governor announces deal for $15 minimum wage

State lawmakers and SEIU agree to plan to raise wage by 2023

A new agreement announced by state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown would raise the state's minimum wage to $15 for most employees in 2022 and for all employees in 2023.

The agreement was brokered with the Service Employees International Union, which has been seeking to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021 through a ballot initiative in November. If passed by the state legislature and signed by Brown, the SEIU would likely withdraw the initiative.

"California is proving once again that it can get things done and help people get ahead," Brown said in a statement. "This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change."

The state's minimum wage hit $10 per hour on Jan. 1. Under the new plan, it would rise to $10.50 next year for businesses with 26 or more employees and continue rising gradually until reaching $15 per hour on Jan. 1, 2022.

For small businesses with 25 employees or fewer, the minimum wage would rise more gradually but still hit $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2023.

After that the minimum wage would increase up to 3.5 percent annually based on the consumer price index.

But the governor would have the power to pause an increase if the statewide job growth over the prior three to six months were negative and retail sales over the prior 12 months were negative, according to Brown's office.

The governor could also pause an increase if it would cause a forecasted state budget deficit, but can only use this power twice.

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said in a statement that he expects a bill on the proposal will be heard in the state Legislature this week. Leno has been trying to raise the minimum wage beyond the current $10 per hour since 2014.

"If we truly respect work, we must reward work, and there is no reward in working a full-time job and living in poverty," Leno said. "Today's landmark agreement will lift up poor Californians and give hardworking employees the resources they need to put food on the table for their families."

If passed, the plan may have little effect on some Bay Area municipalities that are already on track for a $15 minimum wage sooner. In November, the Mountain View City Council passed an ordinance to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 by 2018.

Palo Alto's City Council approved an ordinance last fall to institute a local minimum wage of $11 an hour, effective this past Jan. 1. The council also agreed to a goal of a $15-per-hour minimum wage by 2018 and charged one of its committees to devise the plan forward.

San Francisco's minimum wage will rise to $15 in 2018 under a ballot initiative passed in 2014. The minimum wage in Oakland and Emeryville is already over $12 and will be adjusted annually according to the consumer price index. Berkeley's is slated to go to over $12 later this year and its city council has been considering a plan that could make the city's minimum wage $15 in 2020.

Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Weekly staff contributed to this report.

— Bay City News Service

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9 people like this
Posted by Hopenchange
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm

This bill is also known as the "Increased Automation of Services Incentive Act of 2016."

6 people like this
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm

I have a feeling this is going to backfire.

7 people like this
Posted by too slow
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Good idea, but ramps up much too slowly.

5 people like this
Posted by Commentator
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm

"I have a feeling this is going to backfire."

It has backfired every time. That's why there are no businesses paying minimum wage in California any more.

8 people like this
Posted by Nayeli P.
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

Nayeli P. is a registered user.

In a few years, these "bright" minds will be arguing for a $20/hour minimum increased benefits for all.

Will it backfire? OF COURSE IT WILL.

Low-skill workers will soon be paid nearly the same as recent college graduates -- people who have spent four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve their vocational opportunities. In what world does that make sense?

8 people like this
Posted by Tinpot Economics
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Open borders + minimum wage limits + global trade + high taxes = no middle class

One wonders if it is possible for jobs and capital to flee our country any faster but this can only help. We can expect the expansion of the underground economy where nobody pays taxes or recent trends where legal businesses increase automation, offshore employment and design corporate inversions at a greater pace.

The only good jobs left will be in government where unconstrained deficit spending funds job security and pension liabilities or a permanent election industry that constantly churns extremist propaganda, gotcha news stories and identity politics. Making or fixing things will be further spurned or dismissed to other less sophisticated countries. Access to the ever shrinking feeding trough will only be doled out through ivy league family connections, diversity programs and crony capitalism.

The political establishment will increasingly rig the system by restricting the candidate pool to candidates nobody wants and by gerrymandering voter blocks to protect the donor class interests. Government agencies will be subverted as weapons to attack adversaries and the legal system will become more politicized to legislate and enforce ideology from the bench. The rule of law transforms into the rule of whoever gets caught or speaks out gets punished.

Political and corporate elites will zip around in entourages of dark windowed SUVs on their way to private jets going to leadership conferences and fundraisers. They will create highly controlled and artificial town hall meetings or coffee talks to maintain a false image of empathy and accessibility. In the meantime, they become more isolated only traveling in safe corridors to homes or buildings surrounded by tall fences, drones and security cameras.

They will robotically repeat condescending talking points that are obviously false to a subservient news media and shamelessly ignore being caught in lies or cyclical flip flops. As the society around them deteriorates, they will increase the surveillance on law abiding citizens and expand their legions of private security guards all the while cracking down on the population's access to weapons in order to defend themselves.

It is a blueprint that history has seen many times before with disastrous results. However, in America the people have the power (for now) and we don't have to sow the seeds of our own destruction.

We need a middle class, not a Tinpot Despot Economy.

16 people like this
Posted by GOPonomics
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I predict, the sky will not fall. (again)

1 person likes this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm

It isn't going to hurt you because you can afford to pay more, it isn't going to hurt huge mega corps like walmart, because they can eat the extra cost. But if you are a small business in Salinas, you'll have to cut employees to stay business. The poor get poorer, and they rich get richer. I know you mean well, but minimum wage hurts low skill low wage workers, and that's who you want to help, right? Or maybe it is just making unions happy and screw the poor workers.

2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2016 at 4:46 pm

More self serve checkouts more computers taking orders at restaurants less people to clean tables and restrooms. Yes we will all see poorer service as the few employees will be run off their feet due to less staff.

4 people like this
Posted by Unhappy Meal
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm

About ten years ago a company I worked for was involved with providing technology to one of the major fast food companies in the U.S. for a proof of concept. They were working out the ability to off shore order taking in the drive through to call centers in India.

With the increase in minimum wage as well as other government costs, it would not surprise me if they move forward now. Given the reduction in cost of computing, networking and payment technology, many service jobs are at risk from kiosks, robots and remote call centers.

3 people like this
Posted by Polly Wanacracker
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

"They were working out the ability to off shore order taking in the drive through to call centers in India."

They must have been trying some heavy duty genetic engineering. That server in India will need very long arms.

Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2016 at 2:40 pm

I'm glad the deal was brokered between the state leaders, Gov. Brown and the SEIU.

I look forward to the movements to break up the state as the parts of California not in the Bay Area or the LA Area look to escape the insanity.

1 person likes this
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:08 am

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

It is a good thing.

Our employees need more income to pay more rent costs.

Our challenge is to find a way to reduce other costs and taxes so businesses can balance the cost.

I would be willing to pay an additionl dolar or two to give the minimum wage worker.


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