In a move that puts California at the forefront of efforts to raise wages for low-income workers across the country, the Legislature approved a sweeping plan Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years, boosting the future paychecks of millions of the state's workers.
The Senate voted 26 to 12 — with loud cheers of “Si se puede” from the gallery above — to give final approval and send the measure to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk less than one week after a legislative compromise. Brown will sign the wage hike into law in Los Angeles on Monday.
“At its core, this proposal is about fairness,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said just before the vote.
“This is historic, and today I am proud to be a Californian.”
Under the plan, the state's hourly minimum wage would increase from the current $10 to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, then to $11 the following year, and increase by $1 annually until 2022.