[Jan. 12, 2016] LOS ANGELES – U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) has thrown her support behind a ballot initiative to gradually raise California’s minimum wage to $15, an effort that has strong voter support and would benefit 3.3 million workers.
“I firmly believe that no one who works a full time job in California should live in poverty,” said Hahn. “And while California has made tremendous strides in our economic recovery, the reality is that far too many people are still struggling just to make ends meet. That’s why I support raising California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour to help address our state’s growing income inequality gap. It’s a common sense measure that will lift up workers, expand the middle class, and help stimulate local economies across the state.”
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, which is sponsoring the ballot initiative, will submit voter signatures to qualify the measure to county elections officials on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.
The Fair Wage Act of 2016 would raise California’s minimum wage to $11 in 2017 and then gradually increase it a dollar a year until it reaches $15 in 2021. Once the minimum wage reaches $15, it will automatically be adjusted each year to keep pace with the cost of living. California’s minimum wage is currently $10 an hour.
The initiative also has been endorsed by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California Controller Betty Yee, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who serve as co-chairs of the initiative effort, and 13 California state legislators, including Sen. Isadore Hall (D-Compton) and Assemblymembers Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) and Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina). In addition, more than 200 labor and community organizations and other elected officials from across the state support the measure.
According to a recent Field Poll, 68 percent of registered California voters support the initiative.