Contributed by the office of Assemblyman Luis Alejo:
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 10 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo into law today. The measure will raise California’s current $8.00 floor wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2014, and to $10.00 on January 1, 2016.
Earlier this month, Governor Brown indicated strong support for the measure in a joint press release with Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.
Over the last few years, California’s low-wage workers have seen their earnings decline. In fact, the start of 2013 marked the sixth year that California has gone without a minimum wage adjustment.
“With over 60 percent of our minimum wage workers 26-years-old or older, we have created a system where we pay workers less but need them to spend more,” said Alejo. “That causes middle class families to fall down the economic ladder. It’s the reason our middle class is shrinking and the reason we are facing the largest gap between upper- and lower-income Californians in at least 30 years. That’s why this bill is supported by teachers, nurses, firefighters, and thousands of others in public service.”
In addition, the California Budget Project recently reported that between 2006 and 2012, inflation-adjusted earnings for the bottom fifth of California earners declined by almost 6 percent. Moreover, inflation has eroded the purchasing power of California’s minimum wage over the past four decades. In fact, California’s minimum wage is less than the minimum wage workers earned in 1979.
Momentum for a wage hike began to build earlier this year when President Obama called for a raise in the minimum wage during his State of the Union address.
“Even with widespread public support and support from our President, Congress has not raised the minimum wage,” said Alejo. “California is often the vanguard for the nation and it seems that we will once again be leading the effort to rebuild the middle class.”
In the closing hours of the 2013 Legislative Calendar Year, the California State Legislature overwhelmingly approved the minimum wage proposal with a 26-11 vote in the Senate and a 51-25 vote in the Assembly.
“I’m proud to author this measure on behalf of hard working families in California,” said Alejo. “Now is the time to rebuild the middle class. Now is the time to raise the minimum wage.”
An event for the historic signing of AB 10 will be held in Oakland. For more information on the bill, please visit http://www.asmdc.org/members/a30/.