Gov. Brown signs bill to raise California’s minimum wage

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2016 file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the Association of California Water Agencies conference in Sacramento, Calif. After scoring victories last year on his signature priority of climate change, Brown will lay out his next agenda for California as he delivers his state of the state address Thursday, Jan 21.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

LOS ANGELES (KRON) — Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s new minimum-wage bill Monday morning in Los Angeles.

Governor Brown signed the bill at 9 a.m. in the Ronald Reagan State Building.

The landmark legislation SB 3 passed by both houses of the Legislature on Thursday, making California the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide.

$15 an hour will be the highest-paid minimum wage in the nation.

“California is proving once again that it can get things done and help people get ahead,” said Governor Brown when the deal was announced earlier this week. “This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change.”

California’s current $10-an-hour minimum wage is tied with Massachusetts for the highest among states. Only Washington, D.C., at $10.50 per hour is higher. New York’s minimum wage is $9.

The plan is to increase the minimum wage over time in phases.

Under the plan, minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour on January 1, 2017 for businesses with 26 or more employees, and then rises each year until reaching $15 per hour in 2022.

This plan also recognizes the contributions of small businesses – those with 25 or fewer employees – to California’s economy and allows additional time for these employers to phase in the increases.

Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour for all businesses, wages could then be increased each year up to 3.5 percent for inflation as measured by the national Consumer Price Index.