Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in downtown Los Angeles today that will raise the minimum wage in California from $8 an hour to $10 by 2016.
Brown held a ceremony with supporters at the Ronald Reagan StateBuildingon Spring Street to sign the bill. He then headed to Oakland for a second ceremony.
Under AB10, the state's minimum wage will rise to $9 an hour on July 1, 2014, and then increase to $10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2016.
The bill was opposed by some business leaders who said the increase would make it more difficult for companies to operate in the state, possibly damaging the California economy. Opponents said businesses would be forced to raise prices or hire fewer workers to offset the costs of the higher salaries.
Brown was unequivocal about his support for the bill when it was approved by the Legislature.
"The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs,'' Brown said. "This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.''
The new law will have a high impact on California, which is reported to have the nation's largest number of the so-called working poor.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, hailed the legislation.
"Our workers are among the most productive in the world, and with the signing of the minimum wage increase, working people will see significant relief and help California's economy continue to outshine the rest of the nation,'' Perez said.