California’s minimum wage will rise to $ 15.50 an hour for employees in all companies, large and small, on January 1, 2023, under an automatic inflation trigger built into state law and never before activated, the governor’s office predicted on Thursday.
The announcement comes a day before Democrat Gavin Newsom, a Democrat in the first term, was due to present his revised budget to the state legislature, led by his party, including a proposed $ 11.8 billion spending package to reduce inflation.
The economic stimulus proposal, similar to the one put in place last year to help California recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, includes a plan that Newsom unveiled in recent weeks offering a $ 400 tax rebate to vehicle owners to offset against rising gas costs.
Newsom said his package would include a “historic” budget surplus to help individuals and families deal with rising living costs, which the state Treasury Department predicts will grow by 7.6% between fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
Regardless of whether the Newsom package becomes law, the Ministry of Finance estimates that around 3 million employees will benefit from the first inflation-linked minimum wage increase, which is expected to take effect under labor legislation enacted in 2016.
That law automatically requires 50 cents an hour above the prevailing minimum wage in California – when the highest that some states require for larger companies – each time the U.S. consumer price index rises more than 7% year-on-year.
This means that the national minimum wage for companies with 26 or more employees, and those with 25 or fewer employees, will both go up to $ 15.50 in the new year. Without a spike in inflation, the minimum wage for smaller companies should have reached $ 15 in January, reaching the level now required for larger companies.
Only two states – Massachusetts and Washington state – exceed California’s current minimum wage of 14 dollars. They need at least $ 14.25 and $ 14.49 per hour, respectively, for companies of all sizes, according to U.S. Department of Labor figures.
The District of Columbia is even higher, at $ 15.20 per hour. The minimum wage in the United States is now set at $ 7.25.
Other highlights in Newsom’s inflation package are $ 2.7 billion in emergency rental assistance for low-income people and $ 1.4 billion to help utilities’ customers pay overdue bills.
The California Republican Party issued a statement urging the legislature to stop the state gasoline tax as “the most effective way to relieve pain at the pump.”
California’s minimum wage is expected to rise to $ 15.50 below inflation
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