City Scraps Wage Hike Push

The minimum wage hike slated for the City of Santa Barbara ballot this November has been dropped in response to a statewide deal all but signed by Governor Jerry Brown to incrementally increase California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2022.

It remains uncertain how Democratic members of what’s termed the “mod caucus” — short for moderate — will support the deal. Proponents say it obviates the need for a bruising and expensive ballot battle this November and improves the lot of low-wage earners struggling to stay afloat in relation to the cost of living. Critics contend the deal was hatched behind closed doors with little input from business groups for whom the mandated wage increases will pose an economic hardship.

As of this January, California’s minimum wage jumped from $9 an hour to $10. In Santa

Barbara, proponents of the wage hike argued food and healthcare workers experienced a 40 percent reduction in pay between 2007 and 2013, citing California Employment Development stats indicating that seven of the 11 occupations slated to have the most job openings pay less than $15 an hour. Four pay below $11.

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