Plan to raise California minimum wage to $15 passes in key committee

Fast-food workers and their supporters join a nationwide protest for higher wages and union rights in Los AngelesBy Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – A plan to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 passed its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday, clearing a key committee and putting the state on track to become the first in the nation to commit to such a large raise for the working poor. If passed by the full state legislature, the plan by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown would commit the state, home to one of the world’s biggest economies, to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour from the current $10 by 2022 for large businesses and 2023 for smaller firms. It would also head off a pair of competing ballot initiatives championed by labor leaders to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour without allowing the governor to halt increases in bad times, a deal breaker for Brown.

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