In August, the California State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee decided to hold the bill rather than advance it further through the Legislature. According to a statement by the committee chair, the bill may return next year.
Senate Bill 3 would have increased the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016, and to $13.00 per hour on July 1, 2017. Beginning in 2019, the bill would have imposed an annual automatic cost of living increase.
Currently, the minimum wage in California is $9.00 per hour.
Under existing law, the rate is scheduled to increase to $10.00 per hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. This increase will make California’s minimum wage one of the two highest rates in the nation. The Massachusetts minimum wage also increases to $10 per hour starting on Jan. 1. That status will be short-lived, because other states (including Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut) are scheduled to subsequently implement minimum wage rates that exceed $10.00 per hour.
A number of California cities—including Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Sunnyvale—have imposed local minimum wage ordinances that increase the rate above the state minimum.