Inflation will raise the California minimum bet to $ 15.50

California’s minimum wage for all employers will rise to $ 15.50 per hour in January, according to the governor’s advisers. Gavin Newsom said Thursday, the first time that rising inflation has triggered a provision of a 6-year state law governing automatic wage increases.

The announcement came a day before Newsom unveiled a revised state budget plan, a new spending proposal for the state government that is based on an updated economic forecast and will offer rental assistance and cash discounts to Californians in difficulty.

Keely Martin Bosler, the governor’s budget director, said the wage increase will help low-income families grapple with rapidly rising prices for a wide variety of items.

“They have a huge impact on those families who live off those lower wages and their ability to cover the cost of goods,” he said.

The state minimum wage for large employers is currently $ 15 an hour, with employers having fewer than 26 workers paying $ 14 an hour. Both wage levels rose in January, the supposed final step under a 2016 state law that gradually raised wages by a dollar an hour over most years. Small businesses were given more time to raise pay.

Bosler said all companies, regardless of size, will need to raise their base wages based on the state’s projection that the CPI will rise 7.6% over a two-year period ending at July. The 2016 wage law signed by the then Gov. Jerry Brown requests it inflation growth above 7% triggers an even higher minimum wage.

“If inflation remains high” beyond this summer, Bosler said, “it is possible that there will be another jump of another 50 cents in the coming years.”

California’s current minimum hourly wage of $ 15 for large corporations is the highest in the nation, according to federal data. Two states currently require higher wages for small businesses, although the change announced Thursday would likely bring California to the top of the list for all occupational sectors. Some communities in the state already have plans for higher pay rules. In Los Angeles, the minimum wage will rise to $ 16.04 an hour in July.

The 2016 law was a compromise agreed by state legislators after liberal activists qualified an electoral measure calling for an immediate increase to $ 15 an hour. The group agreed to withdraw its efforts in favor of the bill signed by Brown.

John Kabateck, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business California, said the unexpected change could harm companies that are already struggling.

“We recognize that this is the law, but this has the opposite effect on the people they are trying to help,” he said. “This just adds more pain to the fight.”

Thursday’s announcement came in the wake of another potential effort to vote on the salaries of low-wage workers. Hours before state officials released their new inflation estimate, liberal activists signed off on a proposed November voting measure to raise the state’s minimum wage to $ 18 an hour over the next three years.

“Pushing 50 cents on the current minimum wage doesn’t come close to making ends meet for working families,” said Joe Sanberg, the Los Angeles investor who is a supporter of the new electoral measure. “We need a living wage of $ 18 an hour to keep up with inflation so workers and their families can afford food and a place to live without having to take second and third jobs.”

The Newsom administration projection was included in the announcement of an $ 18 billion package billed as a reduction in inflation for Californians, a proposal that includes its $ 400 rebate plan for car owners, as well as assistance extended rental and help to cover overdue bills. Full details are expected on Friday in its release of a revised budget plan.