State legislature sends minimum wage bill to governor

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Minimum wage rally in San Diego

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SACRAMENTO – The state legislature approved the California minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

The deal passed state Assembly 48 to 26, receiving major support from Democratic lawmakers and none from the Republicans, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Senate voted 26-12.

Since 2012, workers have staged strikes and demanded a living wage as they "Fight for $15." In the U.S., more than 40% of all workers earn less than $15 an hour.

Brown announced Monday that he reached a deal with lawmakers and labor unions to raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 by 2022. Assuming 1.5% annual inflation, $15 in 2022 is about $13.72 today.

Brown will sign the wage hike into law Monday, the Times reported.

Most states have minimum wages above the federal level

The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009 and is currently set at $7.25 an hour. But 29 states and D.C. have higher minimums.

For tipped workers, the federal minimum wage is $2.13 -- 18 states use this rate; the other 32 set a higher minimum wage for tipped workers.

New York is also considering a minimum wage hike. Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a 67% increase from $9 an hour to $15 over the next several years. The increase could be included in the annual state budget which may be voted on this week.

Some cities have their own minimum wages

Around the country there are 22 cities and counties that have minimum wages that are higher than their state's levels. Among them are Albuquerque, New Mexico, Louisville, Kentucky and Emeryville, California. At $14.14 an hour, Emeryville's minimum wage is currently the highest in the country.

North Carolina and Alabama have recently passed laws to keep their cities from raising the minimum wage.

Birmingham, Alabama had voted to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But that was struck down before it could take effect when Alabama passed a law preventing cities from enacting their own minimum wages.

Several cities and counties in North Carolina had minimum wages that were higher than the state's $7.25 an hour. However, last week the state enacted a law striking them down.

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