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California Lawmakers Halt Proposed Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers

California Lawmakers Halt Proposed Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers
Source: Pinterest

California Lawmakers Halt Proposed Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers

Source: Pinterest

In 2023, the California government signed and approved a new minimum wage increase for healthcare workers in California, which will take effect on June 1, 2024. 

However, due to the state’s financial crisis, there were deliberations on a possible delay in its implementation, and now, California lawmakers have decided to push for the delay of the anticipated minimum wage increase. 

About the New Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers

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California is currently experiencing a high cost of living and inflation, and workers’ incomes seem not to be meeting basic needs. Therefore, healthcare workers raised awareness of a minimum wage increase in 2023. 

The wage increase was eventually approved and signed by the governor in 2023. This new minimum wage increase was scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2024. 

Minimum Wage Increase To Be Delayed Till July 2024

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After much anticipation by healthcare workers about the new minimum wage, it seems the government has decided to delay its implementation. 

According to a lawmaker, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, who wrote the legislation to increase healthcare workers’ wages, mentioned that the actualization of the proposed minimum wage increase would be postponed until July 2024. 


ALSO READ: More Bad News for California Residents Amid New Minimum Wage Hike

Historic Minimum Wage Increase

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Durazo praised the lawmakers and governor for their efforts when presenting the paperwork for postponing the minimum wage increase until July. 

She later explained that SB 252, the law seeking the minimum wage increase, provided a historic wage increment to more than 450,000 people in the healthcare sector, including people of color and mainly women. 

Some Healthcare Employers Have Started Paying the Minimum Wage Increase

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Durazo further praised those healthcare employers who have started to make changes to the new proposed minimum wage increase in preparation for June 1, as the official implementation has now been postponed till July 1. 

She said that the increase in wages would certainly help healthcare workers to fend for their families and cater to their needs without worrying. She commended some healthcare business owners who have started paying their workers the new minimum wage. 

Postponement Till July 1

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According to Durazo, the healthcare workers will have to wait until July 1 for their new minimum wage to take effect. This is because, according to Durazo, it will start with SB 525’s budget year. 

Durazo mentioned that SB 828 has postponed the healthcare minimum wage increase until July 1; this is because it aligns with SB 525 of the year’s budget, which will allow legislators to review it properly and make technical changes to its effectiveness. 

SB 828 To Be Repealed and Revised

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After announcing the possible delay, Durazo requested that SB 828 be repealed and revised and that the new law’s implementation be delayed.

One requirement of this statute was that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation submit reports on its operations.


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Criticism Regarding Budget Ideas

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The delay in implementing the minimum wage increase for health workers in the state resulted from continuous criticism regarding budget ideas. 

During these budget talks, the governor and the Democratic-led Legislature have even debated this particular statute, and it seems the governor needs a little time to decide. 

Challenges to the New Minimum Wage Increase

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Amid the financial struggles faced by the California government, the need for a minimum wage increase for healthcare workers emerged, and the question is how much more is needed to make it happen. 

According to calculations by the California government, the new minimum wage would cost at least $4 billion, which came at a time when Newsom was trying to cut the budget. 

Minimum Wage Increase Became a Continuous Discussion

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The issue of a new minimum wage increase for health workers has been deliberated upon countless times in budget discussions. 

However, the problem is that it remains a continuous discussion as no particular solution has been found yet, as explained by Governor Newsom. 

The Aftermath of the Law on Fast Food Minimum Wage Increase

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Businesses and critics of Newsom for adopting the state’s fast food minimum wage bill are also pointing fingers at this possible delay in the healthcare minimum wage law.

The fast-food minimum wage law, which started this year, has pointed to one reason for the increase in fast-food prices and also led to the closure of some food businesses. 


ALSO READ: $25 Minimum Wage Increase for California Healthcare Workers Might Face Delay Amidst State Budget Crisis

Continuous Struggle for Increment of Wages in Most Business Sectors

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Nevertheless, workers’ unions continued to fight for higher pay in most business sectors as prices of things in California kept rising. This brought about the urgent need to clamor for an increase in wages. 

Things are generally expensive in California. Housing prices have gone up, and the prices of food and other basic items keep rising. This is also coupled with high taxes, leaving workers with little left to fend for themselves. 

Will the Delayed Minimum Wage Increase Be Implemented by July 1?

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It is now certain that the healthcare workers’ new minimum wage increase has been postponed until July 1, but the question is whether there will be another delay after that. 

According to Durazo, she highlighted the need for the postponement, which she affiliated with, so legislators and the governor could deliberate on including the minimum wage increase in the new state budget. Hopefully, it will take effect by July 1, as mentioned. 


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