March 28, 2016 (San Diego) California law makers and Labor Unions agreed to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour after the labor sponsored initiative qualified for the November ballot. This agreement will avoid a costly fight, that would have pitted labor unions against the state government.
The initiative was far more aggressive than the agreed upon minimum wage hike. According to the Los Angeles Times, that first reported on the deal on Saturday:
According to a document obtained by The Times, the negotiated deal would boost California’s statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 50-cent increase in 2018 and then $1-per-year increases through 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply, delaying their workers receiving a $15 hourly wage until 2023.
This agreement will further link future annual raises to inflation, avoiding future fights both on the legislature and off. It also does not preclude cities having a higher wage. The state agreement is seen as a floor.
The City of San Diego will have on the June Ballot, the minimum wage initiate voted on by city council, but sent to the ballot by business interests. It is a far more modest initiative and it does the following:
As it was passed it would have increased pay on Jan. 1, 2015 minimum $9.75, with $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2016 and finally to $11.50 on Jan. 1, 2017. Starting on Jan. 1, 2019 minimum wage would go up annually adjusted to the Consumer Price Index. The agreement between the labor unions and the State will supersede this modest agreement and starting on January of 2017, (the above timeline would now start on January 2017, if passed by voters). So there is a good question if the June initiative will even remain on the ballot.