By 2016, California may have the nation’s highest minimum wage—$10 per hour—after the state Legislature approved a two-step plan to raise the rate from its current $8 per hour.
Gov. Jerry Brown was expected to sign AB 10, which passed the California Assembly and Senate in September, mostly because of Democratic support. Republican lawmakers generally opposed it, echoing business community criticism that higher wages cause job cuts.
Brown called the minimum wage legislation “overdue.”
Under AB 10, the state minimum wage will rise to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014, then to $10 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016.
Washington currently has the nation’s highest minimum wage: $9.19 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.