California’s Democratic Legislature Scrambling To Delay $25 Health Care Minimum Wage

California's budget deficit is now a whopping $45 billion.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to union workers and volunteers on election day at the IBEW Local 6 union hall on September 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Californians are heading to the polls to cast their ballots in the California recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California’s legislature is trying to delay a new $25 minimum wage for health care workers after Democrats realized it will have larger ramifications for the state’s budget.

Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed the law back in October despite warnings from legislative analysts about the high cost to the state itself.

The Democrat-controlled legislature is now scrambling to delay the law, which is set to take effect on June 1 and would start phasing in a $25 minimum wage for healthcare workers by 2028.

The state has predicted the new minimum wage law will likely cost California another $4 billion a year. This is mainly because Medicaid costs would jump, and the state would have to pay more to its own workers at state-owned health care facilities.

Health care providers have also warned that mandating higher pay could force them to pare down patient services. Some California hospitals say they expect the law to cost them tens of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, California’s budget deficit is now a whopping $45 billion.

Last week, Newsom presented his latest budget proposal. He said that the governor’s office, the legislature, and supporters of the new minimum wage are currently working out a deal on potential changes to the law.

“This budget will not be signed without that deal that we committed to being addressed,” Newsom said.

However, it is not clear whether a deal will be reached before Saturday, when the law takes effect. It is also not clear what the sticking points are in the negotiations.

If no changes are made by this weekend, the minimum wage for health care workers will jump to between $18 and $23 an hour, depending on the health care provider. By 2028, almost all workers at health care facilities in California will be paid at least $25 an hour.

Some health care facilities have already begun raising wages for workers in anticipation of the law. Others have not done so yet.

California’s current minimum wage for all workers is $16 an hour.

In September, Newsom also signed a law establishing a new $20 an hour minimum wage for fast food workers, which kicked in last month. However, the governor carved out several expeditions, including for fast food restaurants located on certain government-owned lands.

Since the law was signed, California fast food restaurants have increased prices by 10% overall, more than any other state, according to the market research firm, Dataessential.

One Pizza Hut franchise operator said it was laying off 1,200 drivers, and Chipotle and Mcdonald’s said they would raise prices as a result of the law.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  California’s Democratic Legislature Scrambling To Delay $25 Health Care Minimum Wage