Gov. Brown signs minimum wage increase bill

Gov. Jerry Brown signs the minimum wage increase into law. ((c) CC BP-NC-ND 2.0 by Joanne Wan/Flicker)

Shirley Smith

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed minimum wage bill increase from $8 to $10 an hour. This will gradually take place over the next two years, and this is the first increase in six years, according to the Mercury News.

The wage hike will go into effect in two phases. The current minimum of $8 an hour will be raised to $9 on July 1, 2014, and then to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Students expressed a positive reaction to the increase, even though they are in college to be able to eventually move above the minimum wage-level job.

“This will raise my wage 75 cents,” said Christian Knauer, 20-year-old business major. “I’m going to school so I can eventually get a degree and get a better job that pays more than $9.25 an hour, well, $10 eventually.”

Even older students were pleased with the bill’s passing.

“It will help me pay my rent. I just do odd jobs, gardening and stuff like that,” said Benjamin Clark, a 51-year-old automotive technician major.” I work for very little wages and that’s why I’m going to school.”

After the Senate voted 51-25 on Sept. 12, the bill was sent to Gov. Brown, who signed it.

“It’s my goal and it’s my moral responsibility to do what I can to make our society more harmonious, to make our social fabric tighter and closer and to work toward a solidarity that every day appears to become more distant,” Brown said, according to Reuters.

Nevertheless, 20-year-old Mackenzie Castruita, liberal arts major, was concerned the increase won’t make much difference.

“Increasing the minimum wage would seemingly be helpful in that young college students like myself could be able to provide for oneself better,” Castruita said. “However, knowing that if the minimum wage goes up, so will everything else, so then everything might just stay the same.”

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