LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday signed a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.
The first signing ceremonies was held at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Ronald Reagan State Building on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. The second was held at 12 p.m. in Oakland.
“Our society over the last 30 years, since the last time I was governor, has experienced a growing gap between those who do the work at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy,” Brown said.
Assembly Bill 10 (AB 10) will increase the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9 an hour by July 1, 2014, and finally $10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2016.
Critics have argued raising the minimum wage will amount to a roughly 25 percent tax increase on small businesses and force many business owners to cut payrolls or close down completely.
A recent study (PDF) conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed 68,000 jobs could be lost in California if the minimum wage is increased.
Brown told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that any such criticism is “silly”.
“The fact is over the last 30 years, the income gap between those at the top — the top 10 or 20 percent — and those at the bottom, the people we’re helping today, has grown enormously,” Brown said.
The state of Washington currently has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $9.19 an hour.