Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour by January 2016:
Raising wages for the poorest workers is a “wonderful thing,” Brown said at a bill-signing ceremony in Los Angeles.
“It’s my goal and it’s my moral responsibility to do what I can to make our society more harmonious, to make our social fabric tighter and closer and to work toward a solidarity that every day appears to become more distant,” he said.
This is a hugely important issue for women in California, particularly women of color, who are disproportionately employed in the service industry and other sectors that tend to pay minimum wage. Fast food workers, who have been striking nationwide in demand of higher wages, will certainly benefit from this increase in California, though it does not come close to meeting the $15 an hour wage that these workers have been demanding, or even reach the state’s living wage.