Minimum Wage Debate

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, July 5, 2006

The Commission found that $6.75 an hour may not be adequate to live on…..and appointed a minimum wage board to examine whether an increase for the state’s lowest paid workers is in order…and if so, how much.   Billie Anne Jones of Richmond is a secretary who makes minimum wage:

“It’s unfair, they could not live or be satisfied with 6.75, so the right thing would be to increase with indexing.”

Indexing – or automatic increases in the wage - is something else the board will consider.  It’s something James Abrams of the California Hotel and Lodging Association strongly opposes.  Abrams says the wage needs to be reviewed, but the board should consider all of the possible effects of an increase: 

“At some point there is a dis-employment effect.  At some point people have – employers especially in small businesses have got to decide, can I afford health care, or not?”

In May, Governor Schwarzenegger petitioned the commission to increase the minimum wage by a dollar an hour.