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Statewide $15 Minimum Wage Initiative To Appear On November Ballot

L.A. Based organizers back in 2015 when Mayor Garcetti signed the wage increase into law. (Photo by Eric Garcetti via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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One of the two proposed ballot initiatives to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour has received the necessary number of signatures to be placed on the ballot. This means that, come November, California voters will be able to determine whether or not the state's minimum wage will increase to $15 an hour by 2021, according to CBS2.

California already has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. On January 1st of this year, the lowest legally paid Californians saw their wages bump up to $10 an hour, higher than any other state, except Massachusetts where the wage is also $10 an hour.

Coincidentally, both of the ballot initiatives proposing a statewide minimum wage increase are sponsored by divisions of the Service Employees International Union. The initiative now approved to appear on the ballot comes from SEIU's Healthcare Worker's West union, and proposes the minimum wage be increased by $1 each year until it reaches $15 in 2021. From there, the wage will be tied to cost of living, increasing as it becomes more expensive to live in California.

The other proposed initiative comes from SEIU's California state council. While this initiative is stripped of language that ties the wage to the cost of living, it raises the wage to $15 by 2021 and increases the number of mandated sick days from a paltry three to a slightly less paltry six, according to the L.A. Times.

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Of course, several cities in California have already approved minimum wages higher than the state-mandated $10 an hour. Back in 2014, San Francisco and Oakland became the first California cities to vote in a wage increase. Minimum wage in both the cities currently sits at $12.25 an hour, and will continue to increase.

The cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica approved their own wage increases last year as well, though each is now under the umbrella of another motion from L.A. County Board of Supervisors passed last September, that will increase minimum wage to $15 an hour across all of L.A. county by 2020.

Obviously some business folks are against it, and have coalesced together into the California Consumers Against Higher Prices coalition. Per KPCC, the California Restaurant Association, California Hotel and Lodging Association, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, along with the L.A., Fresno and San Diego Chambers of Commerce all oppose proposed the wage-increase.