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Will California's minimum wage increase to $18?

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 21:08:39-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — "I cannot believe this is going on. It is really sad. It's the United States. How can we be like this," says Blanca Arguello, who lives in Orange County.

Arguello says she struggles to put food on the table. She lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her two sons. The single mom works at a local grocery store and makes $17 an hour.

I am stressed out. I don't have money. We are saving for the rent," she added.

Arguello hopes the Living Wage Act, an initiative to raise the minimum wage in California to $18 dollars per hour, will be on the ballot this November.

"The living wage act obtained over 1 million signatures of Californians for the 2022 ballot," says Joe Sanberg, the principal backer of the initiative.

And that is enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. But Sanberg says there was confusion about the deadline. He says Secretary of State Shirley Weber's office told counties they had until July 13 to submit qualified signatures, but the real deadline was June 30.

"It's an honest mistake. I think extremely highly of Secretary of State Dr. Weber. Our state agencies are staffed with people working too long with wages that are too low," he added.

Sanberg says the initiative is now qualified for the 2024 ballot. He and his supporters have filed a lawsuit against Weber's office. They are asking the court to require her to put the measure on the ballot this November.

Raising the minimum wage from $15 to $18 an hour would give a full-time employee an extra $6,000 dollars every year before. Arguello says any kind of raise would help.

"A dollar is not nothing for us. It is food on the table," she says.