California’s minimum wage could rise to $10 an hour under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate and likely to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. It would give the state one of country’s highest minimum pay rates.
The state Senate approved bill AB10 and sent it back to the Assembly -- the legislature's lower house -- for a final vote later in the day that will be a mere formality before it goes to Brown, who has said he supports it.
Washington state currently has the country’s top minimum wage, at $9.19 an hour, an amount that is pegged to inflation. Some cities, including San Francisco, have set higher minimum wages.
If Brown signs the state bill into law, it would gradually raise California's minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $10 by 2016.
In recent months fast-food workers have staged nationwide protests to demand higher wages and the right to form unions without retaliation, following earlier protests by Walmart employees who lambasted labor conditions at the large retailer.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press