California approves minimum wage of $15 an hour

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Los Angeles, April 1 (IANS) Lawmakers in the California state of the US approved raising minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, the media reported on Friday.

California’s current minimum wage of $10 an hour is the same as in Massachusetts, ranking them the highest paying states in the US, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pushed by Democrats in the state legislature, where they hold majority seats, the state Senate passed the minimum wage bill on Thursday by 26 to 12 votes and the assembly by 48 to 26 votes.

Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, said he would sign it into law on April 4.

While the widening income divide has been a reality across the US, and a topic on the campaign trails for Democratic presidential candidates in this election year, it is more of a problem in California.

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The economy in California is generally good and Silicon Valley in the northern part of the state is robust, but the working poor are struggling.

California is the most populous among all states, and a legislative analysis estimates that 2.2 million workers in the state are earning the minimum wage.

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