California lawmakers voted on Thursday to gradually raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 by 2022. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to approve the pay hike.
The agreement, intended to avoid a similar voter initiative that recently qualified for the November 2016 ballot, would raise the state’s current $10 minimum wage by 50-cents in 2017 and 2018, and then $1 a year thereafter until it hit $15.
Scroll through our interactive explainer to dig into the ongoing national debate over whether the lowest paid workers in our economy deserve a raise. [Article continues below]
The proposed voter initiative would raise the state minimum wage to $15 as well, but by 2021, one year earlier.
If either is approved, it would mark California’s third minimum wage hike since 2014. California would also become the first state in the nation to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage. 5.6 million low-wage earners would be affected by the pay increase, additional average annual earnings of $3,700, according to UC Berkeley Labor Center study.
Also on Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders announced an a budget agreement that would raise the minimum wage in New York City to $15 by the end of 2018, with slower increases elsewhere throughout the state.