SACRAMENTO (AP) — A legislative analysis says raising the minimum wage in California to the highest statewide level in the nation would eventually cost taxpayers an additional $3.6 billion a year in higher pay for government employees.

The estimate was released Wednesday as an Assembly committee considers boosting the entry-level wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

The full Assembly and Senate could consider the agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown, labor unions and Democratic legislative leaders as early as Thursday.

The financial projection does not examine the broader economic impact that the proposal would have on the state’s private businesses.

Supporters say the raises would lift the estimated 2.2 million Californians earning minimum wage out of poverty.

Business leaders and economists are concerned it would prompt layoffs and other unintended consequences.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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