Gov. Jerry Brown recently passed a bill that will raise the minimum wage in California from $8 to $10 an hour by 2016. The law will mandate a wage increase to $9 an hour by July 1, 2014 and will then raise to $10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2016.
Brown stated that the minimum wage has not kept pace with the rising costs of living in California and that the law is “overdue.”
“Our society over the last 30 years … has experienced a growing gap between those who do work at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy,” Brown said in a press release.
The law is set to affect employers all across the state, who will now be forced to raise the salaries of minimum wage-employees by 25 percent. Additionally, according to on-campus employers, the new legislation will also make it harder for on-campus employers to properly balance their budgets to compensate their student workers.
According to Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services David Rios, the new law will make it more difficult to for employers at the UC Riverside libraries to maintain the same number of students working the same number of hours.
“This is an issue that affects the whole campus, not just the libraries,” he told the Highlander. “However, within the Libraries (sic) we will explore what options we have and which (ones) will be aligned with the strategic plan that is in development and that makes fiscal sense within the limits of our budget.”
Some students on campus are excited for the upcoming change. “Obviously it’s a good thing because the cost of living is increasing so it’ll probably help a lot of people out,” said UCR student and political science major Fatima Ibrahim.
Others, however, were a little more cautious about changing the law. “It might benefit students … but as a whole picture, whether you should do it or not, I don’t know … It might cause problems in the fact that if they raise it, (and if) certain business can’t afford the raise, then there’ll be less jobs,” said biology major Greg Samaha.
With the passage of this law, California will have the highest minimum wage in the country. The last time California’s minimum wage increased was in 2008, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger passed a law to increase the minimum wage to the current $8 per hour.