On Tuesday, San Franciscans overwhelmingly voted to raise the City’s minimum wage to $15.00 over the next few years. The San Francisco current minimum wage of $10.74 is already higher than both the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and California’s minimum wage of $9.00. Under the new law, wages will rise to $11.05 on January 1, 2015, then to $12.25 in May 2015, before increasing every year until they reach $15.00 in 2018.
The vote in San Francisco reflects a growing trend in cities and states across the country to provide workers with a so-called “living wage.” On Tuesday, voters in Oakland, California, approved a measure to raise their minimum wage from $9.00 to $12.25 by March 2015 and voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota also approved measures to increase their minimum wages over the next few years. Alaska will gradually raise its minimum wage from $7.75 to $9.75 by 2016; Arkansas will increase its from 6.25 to 8.50 by 2017; Nebraska will increase its from $7.25 to $9.00 in 2016; and South Dakota will raise its from $7.25 to $8.50 by 2015.
With the vote, San Francisco follows Seattle, which approved a gradual increase to its minimum wage in June, to raise its minimum wage to $15.00 – the highest in the country.