A tentative deal has been reached between California legislators and labor unions taking the minimum wage of the state from $10 to $15 an hour, a state senator said.
Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said that the deal is not yet done but everyone is operating in good faith. He expressed hope that the deal would be passed by the government.
According to Leno, if both sides reach a final agreement, it would go before the Legislature as part of his minimum-wage bill that stalled last year.
If a minimum-wage package is approved by the legislature, it would avoid taking the issue to the ballot. One union-backed initiative has already qualified for the ballot, and a second measure may also qualify.
"This is an issue I've been working on for many years," Leno said. "The governor and stakeholders have all been negotiating earnestly and in good faith for some time."
Leno declined to confirm specifics of the agreement, but most proposals have the wage increasing about a dollar per year until it reaches $15 per hour.
The deal was first reported by Los Angeles Times. According to the newspaper, the wage would rise to $10.50 in 2017, to $11 an hour in 2018, and one dollar per year to take it to $15 by 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would get one more year to comply.
At $10 an hour, California has one of the highest minimum wages in the nation along with Massachusetts. Only Washington, D C is higher at $10.50 per hour. With the minimum-wage at $15, the state would become the top