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Wage increase gets low mark

Alejandra Aguilar
Staff Writer

In an informal survey of 15 students at the University of La Verne, 14 said they were not happy to hear that a new law to increase the state’s minimum wage would soon be in effect.

Phase one of Assembly Bill 10, raising California’s minimum wage to $9 an hour, takes effect July 1.

Phase two will take the state minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.

“I would like to have extra cash to spend, but it’s going to drive prices up, and people will start losing their jobs,” said Joel Sanchez, a senior computer science major.

“Employers will not be able to afford (their employees).”

Gov. Jerry Brown told the Los Angeles Times that the wage increase will diminish the gap between the rich and the poor.

He said it was his “moral responsibility” to give Californians an opportunity earn a decent wage.

“The bill is both good and bad,” said Samantha Mazella, a senior sociology major.

“It’s good because some people depend on that job to support them. However, when pay goes up, the prices of everything else goes up in order to cover the new cost.”

Other students agreed that the increase would create more problems than it would actually fix.

“Just because our minimum wage is increasing, it does not mean that we are going to get paid more,” said Alejandra Mejia, sophomore and business administration major.

“It just means our economy is going to be inflated by the minute and it is going to affect the price readjustment.”

According to an article from the Los Angeles Times titled “Gov. Jerry Brown backs a minimum wage boost,” small businesses and companies are not very happy about the new bill either.

The article also states that the wage increase could potentially hurt the very people its supposed to help.

Brown’s response in the article was that businesses need to take better care of their workers, and that the raise will do so.

“Raising the minimum wage raises living expenses and affects fixed incomes like those of retirees,” Adelaida Gomez, a sophomore biology student, said. “The government has to readjust to compensate for the new cost.”

As of now, California has the highest minimum wage in the country.

Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at alejandra.aguilar@laverne.edu.

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