SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown is hailing as a matter of economic justice a proposal to make California the first state to raise the minimum wage to $15.
The Democratic governor joined legislative and labor leaders Monday in announcing an agreement to raise the rate gradually to $15 an hour by January 2022.
Senate leader Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, says the increase will aid nearly 6 million Californians.
He and Brown touted the proposal as California leading the way on easing income equality.
Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would get an additional year to phase in the increases. The governor could pause the increases in times of budgetary or economic downturns.
Wages would increase to keep up with inflation after 2023.