Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, March 28, 2016

Governor to Announce $15 Minimum Wage; Will It Pass?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 12:29 PM

click image FLICKR/THE ALL-NITE IMAGES
  • Flickr/The All-Nite Images
In just a few minutes, Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to announce at a news conference a plan to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour — the highest in the nation — by 2022. 

Not even inked, not even past the state Legislature — where moderate Democrats and Republicans both from places like the manual labor-reliant Central Valley must be brought on board — the deal is already being hailed by liberals and labor leaders as a major victory.

Though places like San Francisco will see a $15 minimum wage sooner, by 2018 — and an even higher wage after that, based on the consumer price index — the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 for six years. And raising the minimum wage has been a sticking point on the campaign trail for Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — the latter of whom has called for a $15 federal minimum wage by 2020. 

All in all, a good day for the worker — that is, if the $15 plan moves forward at all. And even if it does, there's a loophole for Brown or for his successor to use should California's economy falter.  
Prior to the deal reached over the weekend, the decision to raise the wage to $15 was to be decided by voters. Unions, primarily the Service Employees International Union (who represent low-wage earners in food service, custodial, and other low-skill occupations) had qualified a ballot initiative for November. Having a legislative solution allows Brown to avoid a political fight with the unions.

Details of Brown's deal are forthcoming, but it has a provision that allows the governor to "opt-out" if the economy is deemed not strong enough to support better-paid lowest-wage earners, according to Reuters.

So: the $15 plan is not approved, and even if it is, the governor can choose to bow to pressure from employers, especially ones that rely on cheap labor, to opt out. Maybe the ballot is the better option after all.


  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"