Gov. Jerry Brown announced legislation Monday that would increase California's minimum wage to $15 by 2022. Currently, the state's minimum wage rests at $10, $2.75 higher than the federal $7.25 per hour rate.
Gov. Brown hopes the wage hike proposal will set a precedent for the rest of the nation.
"I'm hoping that what happens in California will not stay in California, but spread all across the country," Brown said during Monday's news conference at the state capitol, where he announced the proposed legislation. "It's a matter of economic justice. It makes sense."
If the measure is approved by both chambers of the state legislature, the plan will raise the minimum wage yearly until it reaches $15. The current $10 statewide minimum wage would rise 50 cents on Jan. 1, 2017 and another 50 cents the following year. The wage will then continue to rise a dollar a year until Jan. 1, 2022, when it would finally reach $15.
Highly supported by Democrats and labor union leaders, it is likely that the legislation will pass the Democrat controlled state legislature.
According to Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), 5.6 million Californians in the workforce, or about one in three workers, will benefit from the wage increase.
Wendy Pool of USC Employee Communications says the university complies with both federal and state minimum wage requirements.
"Whenever we're required to [change the wage], we change it," Pool said. "The new minimum wage will be across the board for all of our employees."
This goes for all universities nationwide, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid. The rule stands whether students are paid through traditional paychecks or through work-study.
"FWS employers must pay students at least the federal minimum wage in effect at the time of employment," according to the 2015-16 Federal Student Aid Handbook. "If a state or local law requires a higher minimum wage, the school must pay the FWS student that higher wage."
However, students are limited by the amount of Federal Work-Study awarded for a particular time period; since work-study wages are paid on an hourly basis, a student may earn the same final amount over the course of the semester but will work less hours to fulfill that sum.
For further questions regarding how students' Federal Work Study funds will be affected at USC, contact the Dean of Financial Aid's Office at (213) 740-5445.
Reach Staff Reporter Brittany Hope here.