By ADAM BEAM

SACRAMENTO — Democrats in California have agreed to delay a minimal wage enhance for about 426,000 well being care employees to assist steadiness the state’s funds.

The rise was supposed to begin on July 1. The settlement, introduced Saturday and which should nonetheless be accredited by the state Legislature, would delay that enhance till Oct. 15 — however provided that state revenues between July and September are no less than 3% greater than what state officers have estimated.

If that doesn’t occur, the rise is not going to begin till January on the earliest.

FILE – Retirees Ron Martin, left, and Willie Mae Hampton, proper, be a part of different supporters of the Service Staff Worldwide Union at a rally in opposition to proposed funds cuts to state offered social security internet applications, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, June 11, 2024. On Saturday, June 22, 2024, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Democrats who management the state Legislature agreed to delay an upcoming minimal wage enhance for well being care employees to assist steadiness the funds. (AP Picture/Wealthy Pedroncelli, File)

The minimal wage for most individuals in California is $16 per hour. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two legal guidelines final yr that elevated the minimal wage for 2 teams: Quick meals employees and well being care staff.

The brand new quick meals minimal wage is $20 per hour and took impact on April 1. The brand new well being care employee minimal wage is $25 per hour and was slated to be phased in over the following decade. The primary enhance was supposed to start on July 1.

However not like the quick meals minimal wage, the rise for well being care employees impacts the state’s funds. That’s as a result of California employs some well being care employees and in addition pays for well being advantages by means of its Medicaid program.

The Newsom administration had beforehand stated the minimal wage enhance would price the state about $2 billion. But when delayed till January, the rise will price the state’s common fund about $600 million — a determine that might rise yearly to mirror scheduled will increase till it reaches $25 per hour for many well being care employees.

“After all, employees are disenchanted that not each low-wage employee in well being care will obtain raises this summer time because the legislation initially scheduled,” stated Dave Regan, president of Service Staff Worldwide Union-United Healthcare Employees West. “However we additionally acknowledge and respect that legislative leaders and the Governor listened to us as we mobilized and spoke out this yr to insist that, regardless of a historic funds deficit, California’s affected person care and healthcare workforce disaster have to be addressed.”

The settlement is a part of a plan to shut an estimated $46.8 billion deficit within the state’s funds. Newsom and the Democrats who management the state Legislature have been negotiating on the best way to shut the shortfall.

The settlement they introduced Saturday contains $16 billion in funds cuts, together with a $110 million minimize to scholarships for potential faculty college students from middle-income households and $1.1 billion in cuts to numerous inexpensive housing applications.

The settlement would pull $5.1 billion from the state’s financial savings account whereas delaying $3.1 billion in different spending and shifting $6 billion in bills to different funds.

However Newsom and lawmakers agreed to desert some beforehand proposed funds cuts, together with one that might have stopped paying for folks to take care of some low-income disabled immigrants who’re on Medicaid.


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