New California Laws 2016

Hundreds of new California laws took effect on Jan. 1. Capital Public Radio looked at the tangible impacts of these laws on the lives of Californians.

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California Leads The Country In Minimum Wage

Wally Gobetz / Flickr
 

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

This story is part of our series on new California laws that take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

On Jan. 1 California will have the highest minimum wage in the country.

California workers earning minimum wage will get an extra dollar an hour at the beginning of the year. The state raised the rate from $8 to $9 in July 2014. Soon it will be $10 an hour.

Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Salinas sponsored the legislation behind the raises. 

“If you increase the minimum wage by one dollar, if you’re working 40 hours a week at the end of that year you’re going to have $2,000 more to help provide for their families, pay their bills, pay their taxes and help make ends meet.”

Several places in California have already pushed for a much higher minimum.

By 2020 large cities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas will have minimum wages up to $15 an hour. The University of California system and Los Angeles County are on similar tracks.