For the first time in six years, California’s minimum wage is set to increase. All that is needed for it to happen? Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.
All indications from the governor’s office this week point toward him signing it. State Assembly Bill 10 could put California at $10 an hour for minimum wage.
“I think they should raise it to$10 an hour. You know the people that work for minimum wage deserve to make enough money to live on,” said Santa Maria resident Andy Freitas.
Not everyone agrees with the increase. The owner of Stinky’s in Santa Maria says an increase might just cause more harm than good.
“The only way any small business can afford to add increases like that is to raise the prices of our goods. Which in turn pretty much causes inflation,” said Stinky’s owner David Perez.
Brown said in a statement that minimum wage has not kept up with rising costs and that this legislation is long overdue.
“That’s not going to solve the issue. Minimum wage is not meant to be a living wage. It’s for students, for part-time employment,” said Perez.
According to the governor’s press office, more than 90 percent of minimum-wage workers in California are over the age of 20, and 25 percent of California children live in a household with one minimum-wage-earning parent.
“Businesses are trying to make more profit, when I don’t know if now’s the time to make as much profit as it is to take care of the people,” said Freitas.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, so California is already higher than that. The highest in the country is $10.55, and that would be in San Francisco.
If the governor signs the bill, the minimum wage will be $10 by 2016.