On Monday, March 28, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that will gradually raise minimum wage to $15 by 2020.
Currently California’s minimum wage is $10, which began Jan. 2016. However, Brown announced last year this was long overdue. This makes California the first in the nation to have the highest statewide minimum wage.
“This is about economic justice, its about people, its about creating a little tiny balance in a system that everyday becomes more unbalanced,” said Brown during his signing of the law announcement, according to USAToday.
The new law implements that each year the minimum wage will automatically increase. Starting from $10.50 in 2017, $11 in 2018 and another dollar through 2020.
Workers who are involved in the “Fight for $15” organization have been pressuring this enactment since 2012.
The Fight for $15 tweeted on April 4, “@GovJerryBrown signs the $15 min wage into law. Three years ago this was a dream. When we strike we win #FightFor15.”
Supporters of the bill are celebrating. This law makes a difference to people across California who make a living off of minimum wage.
“The more we get hours at work the more we get bills at home. It helps with bills while I go to school,” said Opal Renfro, CVS employee and full time Delta student.
Meanwhile, this deal has also raised concerns over whether small businesses and communities can handle this high increase in pay.
In considering this complication, the bill allows for any small business with 25 employees or fewer to get an extra year to comply with each pay increase.
“Large companies probably won’t be effected but small companies might not be able to pay their employees as much. Prices and some taxes will probably rise, which will increase the cost of living. It’s a spiral,” said Jennifer Rea, Papa Johns employee and full-time Delta student.
California isn’t the only state with a minimum wage crisis. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also considered the same proposal to raise wages to $15 by 2021.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted on April 4, “Not too long ago, they told us that a $15 min wage was unrealistic. Some said it was ‘pie-in-the-sky.’ NY and CA are just the tipping point.”
Gov. Brown’s signature sealed the deal for an inevitable domino effect in the United States calling for higher wages.