Two identical minimum
wage bills may be headed for Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk, setting the stage
for a showdown between legislators and the governor, who has his own separate
approach in the works.
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A.B. 1835 and S.B. 1162
would increase the
minimum wage to $7.25 per hour in July 2007 and to $7.75 per hour in July 2008.
Both measures also provide for subsequent annual increases tied to the
inflation rate. The Assembly passed A.B. 1835 by a vote of 43-30. The Senate
voted 25-13 to approve S.B. 1162.
But Gov. Schwarzenegger,
who opposes the measures because they require future automatic increases in the
minimum wage, has unveiled his own plan. The governor has revived the dormant
Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) and has asked it for a $1 hike to $7.75,
without annual cost-of-living adjustments. The IWC will hold public hearings on
the proposal, with the next meeting scheduled for July 5.
since 2001—is the sixth-highest state minimum wage in the nation. The proposals
under consideration would make
minimum wage the highest. The federal minimum wage stands at $5.15. Information
on the history of