Senator Mark Leno Proposes Raising State Minimum Wage to $13 by 2017

With cities across the Bay Area approving minimum wage hikes at the ballot box, state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is proposing upping the state minimum wage to $13 by 2017.

Leno introduced legislation today that would raise the state minimum wage to $11 an hour in 2016, to $13 in 2017 and begin annual inflation-based adjustments in 2019.

Under current law, the state minimum wage will increase $10 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016.

The minimum wage in some Bay Area cities is already set to rise more than that. Last month, Oakland voters approved a minimum wage hike to $12.25 effective in March and San Francisco voters approved a gradual rise to a $15 minimum wage in 2018.

The Berkeley City Council also enacted an ordinance this year to raise the city’s minimum wage to $12.53 on Oct. 1, 2016.

A statement from Leno’s office today lauded the local efforts, but lamented that a quarter of California residents live in poverty.

“Raising incomes for millions of Californians will reduce poverty and provide them a better shot at the American Dream,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said in a statement. “Senator Leno’s measure will make sure this opportunity is real for all of California’s minimum wage workers.”

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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