The Latest: California enacts highest statewide minimum wage

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Posted: Apr 04, 2016 2:08 PM
The Latest: California enacts highest statewide minimum wage

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the governor signing California's (all times local):

9:40 a.m.

California has enacted the nation's highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour to take effect by 2022.

Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of the bill Monday in Los Angeles, and a similar New York effort, mark the most ambitious moves yet to close the national divide between rich and poor.

Business groups fear the increase will cost thousands of jobs.

Democratic lawmakers approved the measure last week with no Republican support.

Republicans and business groups warn that the move could cost thousands of jobs, while a legislative analysis puts the ultimate cost to taxpayers at $3.6 billion a year in higher pay for government employees.

The Democratic governor negotiated the deal to head off competing labor-backed ballot initiatives.

Brown says the most populous state's fast-growing economy can absorb the raises.

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12 a.m.

California's governor is signing a bill giving the most populous state the nation's highest statewide minimum wage.

Raising the base wage to $15 an hour by 2022, and a similar effort in New York, mark the most ambitious moves yet to close the national divide between rich and poor.

But Republicans and business groups say Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of the bill Monday could cost thousands of jobs.

A legislative analysis puts the ultimate cost to taxpayers at $3.6 billion a year in higher pay for government employees.

Democratic lawmakers approved the compromise legislation Thursday. SB3 passed with no Republican support.

The bill will bump the state's $10 hourly minimum by 50 cents next year and to $11 in 2018.

Hourly $1 raises will then come every January until 2022.