Sacramento Bee – Gov. Jerry Brown, casting a living wage as a moral imperative while questioning its economic rationale, signed legislation Monday raising California’s mandatory minimum to $15 an hour by 2022, acting within hours of a similar bill signing in New York.
Brown, a fiscal moderate, had previously expressed reservations about a wage increase. But amid growing concern about income inequality in California and the national thrust of the labor-backed “Fight for 15” campaign, his hand was forced. Public opinion polls showed strong support for increasing the state’s mandatory minimum beyond its current $10.
“Morally and socially and politically, minimum wages make every sense because it binds the community together and makes sure that parents can take care of their kids in a much more satisfactory way,” Brown said.
In a concession to the state’s influential labor unions, the bill will also provide in-home health aides three annual sick days. Republicans and business groups said rising wages will force employers to increase prices or to cut costs by laying off workers or reducing their hours.
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