(AP) --Starting Tuesday, California's minimum wage will take the first of two scheduled increases to $9 per hour.
It's one of several new laws taking effect in July.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB10 into law last fall. It will boost the minimum wage to $10 an hour starting on Jan. 1, 2016.
Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Salinas, who pushed for the increase, says it will allow "hardworking Californians to provide food, clothes and housing for their families."
The increase comes amid a national debate about wages. A bill that would have further raised California's minimum wage failed in the Legislature this year.
Washington has the highest minimum wage of any state, at $9.32 an hour.