California Faces Changing Minimum To $18 Per Hour
Los Angeles investor and anti-poverty advocate Joe Sanberg is taking a stand for California residents fighting to increase the state minimum wage to $18 per hour. Sanberg is spearheading the Living Wage Act of 2022 that was filed with the state attorney’s office on December 3, 2021.
Sanberg has committed to financing the signature-gathering process to qualify the minimum wage initiative for the next November election. The Living Wage Act is an initiative that will start increasing the state minimum wage starting in 2023 that will gradually raise the minimum wage to $18 an hour for all businesses by 2026.
The current state minimum wage is estimated to reach $15 an hour for larger businesses starting January 2022 that will expand to all businesses in California by 2023. The current state minimum wage is $14 an hour for businesses with over 25 employees and $13 an hour for smaller businesses.
Sanberg admits that the increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a good start, but he wants to make more progress by pushing the limit to $18 an hour as residents of California have a higher living cost compared to other states. He attests that this is the right time for this pus has the global pandemic showed how many Californians working full-time jobs cannot afford basic needs.
Sanberg is known for making his early fortune on Wall Street and grew a reputation as an investor in some successful startups including the popular meal-prep company, Blue Apron. Sanberg is also known as being a co-founder of the personal-finance company Aspiration that is primarily online banking and has a unique feature of offering customers an option to choose how much they pay in monthly fees.
Though it is rare for wealthy Californians to personally fund an initiative signature campaign, it’s happened occasionally in the past. Under state election law, Sanberg can stop his campaign choosing to withdraw the proposal once qualified for the ballot if Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers among an agreement to pass a similar law on their own.
The Living Wage Act initiative would be under mandate with the base pay of businesses with more than 25 employees would go up by one dollar each year until reaching $18 an hour by 2025. Businesses with fewer than or equal to 25 employees will require an extra year to hit the $18 an hour wage threshold.
After progressively reaching $18 an hour, the minimum wage can be adjusted annually to maintain the pace with the cost of living in the state. This initiative will be like the model used to raise the minimum wage rate to $15 an hour after a bill was signed in 2016 by then California Governor Jerry Brown with the law going into effect in 2017 with rates increasing annually. Before the current initiative in 2016, the minimum wage for all businesses in California was $10 an hour. The research for this article was sourced from L.A. Times and Head Topics websites.