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California Raises Minimum Wage

The rate will increase to $9 an hour next July and top out at $10 by January of 2016.
Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Wednesday which will raise California’s minimum wage by 25% over the next couple years.

Currently, minimum wage sits at $8 an hour.  It will rise to $9 next July and $10 dollars by January of 2016.  It puts the pay level well above the federal minimum rate of $7.25 an hour.

This is the first minimum wage increase since 2008 and it's getting mixed reviews with folks in the Central Valley.
     
The decision out of the Capitol to raise minimum wage will impact about 14% of the state's full-time work force.  It’s the first minimum wage increase since 2008.
     
Some see it as a job killer, while others view it as an economy stimulator.

“It's phenomenal that it's finally going up.  It's about time,” said Dylan Smith, a minimum wage worker.
     
Dylan Smith is eager to earn some extra cash he can spend on fun activities.

“With the necessities you need to purchase today you can't really afford to go out to a movie, arcade, karaoke or anything,” said Smith.
     
Kern County Supervisor, Leticia Perez, is also excited.

“It's a great time for Californians.  So many students, single moms and folks really struggling to get by on minimum wage, this really is a boost,” said Leticia Perez, Kern Co. Supervisor.

Perez lost her bid for a state senate seat this past summer.  However, one of her key campaign issues was to get minimum wage increased.

“I'm really proud of the fact that our campaign highlighted this issue as a way to reward hard work and also give people a sense of hope about the future,” said Perez.

“It just doesn't make sense,” said Serafin Quintanar, owner of Evan Taylor Fine Cabinetry.
 
Serafin Quintanar says this new law artificially inflates the marketplace, which in time will hurt the consumer industry.

“There are suppliers that I use which have people at minimum wage and if their costs go up they're going to increase the cost to me.  I'm in turn going to have to raise my prices a little bit and that price increase is passed on to the consumer,” said Quintanar.




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