Measure To Raise California’s Minimum Wage To $15/Hour Qualifies For Ballot

California’s Minimum Wage

An initiative to raise low-wage workers’ income in California qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Fair Wage Act of 2016 calls for gradually increasing minimum wage to $15 by 2021. Under the plan, California’s minimum wage will increase to $11 in 2017, and then moving up 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. Currently, California’s minimum wage is $10 an hour, which amounts to less than $21,000 a year for a full-time worker.

The ballot initiative will improve the lives of millions, benefitting 3.3 million men and women in California.

If approved by voters, California would become the largest state to improve the standard of living for low-wage workers, SEIU-UHW said in a statement. SEIU-UHW is a union of hospital workers in the western United States, with more than 80,000 members.

“California has often been the incubator of ideas and policies that spread across the country – this initiative fits that mold and will make our state the leader in the fight against income inequality,” California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stated.

The California Secretary of State’s office confirmed that the minimum wage initiative has been placed on the ballot, as it received the necessary 402,468 signatures.

The initiative has been endorsed by 300 community organizations, labor unions, faith leaders, small business owners and elected officials, including U.S. Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) and Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California Controller Betty Yee, 28 state legislators and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who serve as co-chairs of the initiative campaign.

According to a Field Poll from last year, 68% of registered California voters support the initiative.


  1. The thought of a $15 min wage hike over the next 5 years is wrong. Inflation is going to skyrocket, small business will be put out of business. Restaurants will either have to raise their prices so high to stay in business or just close down. The family of four going to breakfast on a Sunday morning now will be $100 bill after tip. Everything we do is going to cost more! It already has, in case no one is noticing. A basic coffee at Starbucks has gone up 3x’s since min wage increased from $8 just two years ago. I’ve stopped going to Starbucks for that very reason. You can’t get lunch for less than $10 anymore.

    Most small business owners don’t even make $15/hour working 40-60 hours a week, now we’re going to force them to pay more causing employment taxes to go up, workers comp increases, and overhead. More costly lawsuits will emerge from labor issues. This only makes every small business owners establishments unstable. All of California is not silicon valley, where margins are outstanding and they hold a grip on technology like Apple. What’s the percentage of small business failures in the first 10 years, 8 out of 10? What’s going to happen when we force increases on cost? Somethings going to give. People will survive, the underground economy will grow, big corporations will find a more practical setting in Texas, as many already have. We’ll just be focuses on our $15 hike and blindly assume there will be no repercussions.

    It’s not too late to change our mind on this, we need our smart leaders to guide the voters. Of course, the thought of everyone making more sounds like a great idea to the general public, but not this way, by forcing it. It sounds great to all students, who have not finished college yet. What about our military? How are they going to recruit when the min wage in California is going to be higher that what they can offer young men and women to join? What incentive does anyone who wants to start a business have in case they need a little help or general labor? How is manufacturing industries going to be able to compete for quotes with not only the rest of the world but even every other state in the US. They’re going to lose business left and right because of their cost to produce a product is way more than any other area? Everyone better start saving their money now, because the big recession will be coming. This will backfire.