California Fights for a $15 Hourly Minimum Wage

March 28th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

California is positioned to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the course of several years, after state lawmakers and union leaders reached a "tentative" deal that was reported on Saturday by The Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Minimum Wage

While the state's current minimum wage — $10 an hour — ranks among the highest in the country, the statewide increase would represent a historic victory for labor unions and advocates. The deal would involve gradual increases, raising the hourly minimum wage by 50 cents in 2017 and 2018 and then by $1 through 2022, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) is expected to announce the deal as early as Monday. Rather than put the measure to a vote (as two union-sponsored initiatives would have accomplished), the formal agreement will expedite a measure that voters widely support, polls indicate. A 2015 Field Poll showed that 68 percent of California voters supported a $15 minimum wage.

How the deal could affect the presidential election.

fight for 15

"Sources say the Legislature could vote on the wage compromise as soon as the end of next week by amending an existing bill on hold since 2015," The Los Angeles Times reports. "Its passage would place California ahead of a minimum wage increase now being considered in New York, and would probably add fodder to the raucous presidential race."

Both Democratic presidential candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have voiced support for citywide efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Los Angeles and New York. (Sanders has called for the federal minimum wage to be increased to $15 an hour, while Clinton supports a $12 an hour federal minimum wage.) The move from California stands to push the issue center stage in the 2016 presidential election.

The Minimum Wage Wasn't Always Less than What You Need to Surv...

The minimum wage wasn't always less than what you need to survive.Thanks to Endemol beyond for their support of this video.

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Included in the proposal, which The Los Angeles Times obtained, are exceptions that would allow the state to "temporarily block some of the initial increases in the event of an economic downturn." Nevertheless, the state-level legislation would mark an exceptional moment for the Fight for 15 movement, which ATTN: has previously covered.

RELATED: A Slightly Higher Minimum Wage Could Save Taxpayers Billions