California Is About to Make a $15 Minimum Wage a Reality

Javier Rojas/ZUMA

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Update, April 1: California’s State Assembly approved the measure. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill into law on Monday.

California lawmakers and labor unions have reached a historic deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15, the LA Times reports.

The plan will boost the minimum wage from $10 to $10.50 by January 2017, gradually increasing it to $15 over the following six years. Smaller businesses, those with less than 25 employees, will have one extra year to comply with the new changes.

If the deal passes in the state legislature, California will become the first state in the country to adopt a $15 minimum wage—a goal that activists and lawmakers around the country have pushed in recent years as one way to combat income inequality. According to the Times, state legislators could vote on the issue by the end of next week.

The movement to boost the $7.25 federal minimum wage has been an important campaign issue for Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. While both Democratic rivals support raising the minimum wage, only Sanders has endorsed hiking it to $15. Clinton supports raising it to $12.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to announce the deal as early as today. For a deeper look at the issues surrounding the minimum wage debate, check out our analysis here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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