California is boosting its hourly minimum wage from $8 to $10, which would make it the highest in the US. President Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.
California is on track to have the nation’s highest state minimum wage: $10 an hour.
That would top the current highest state figure – $9.19 an hour in Washington State – as well as the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which is the level in all but 18 states and the District of Columbia.
Business organizations fought the law, which Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed Wednesday. The California Chamber of Commerce calls it a “job killer,” and the California Restaurant Association said it was a "blow to small businesses” at a time when the state’s unemployment rate (8.9 percent) is well above the national rate (7.3 percent), making it one of the highest in the country.
"Small-business owners will now be forced to make tough choices including reducing employee hours, cutting positions entirely, and for many, closing their doors altogether," said John Kabateck, head of the California branch of the National Federation of Independent Business.