Valley Forum: Higher minimum wage promotes economic stability

By By Noreen Evans

(Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) issued the following statement regarding AB 10, Adjusting the Minimum Wage, which was approved by the Legislature on Sept. 1.) 

Increasing the minimum wage is an economic stimulus tool. By providing a living wage – a dignified wage – we promote economic stability in California and reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots trying to make an honest living.

The current minimum wage in California promotes poverty in our communities and impacts every taxpayer in the state. If we value work, and if we value people who work hard every day, raising the minimum wage to a level where people don’t have to fall back on government assistance to put food on the table is the right thing to do. This is a modest increase that will reap substantial benefits for all Californians.”

AB 10 addresses California’s historic income gap by increasing the state’s minimum wage as follows: On July 1, 2014, the state’s minimum wage will be raised from $8 to $9 per hour. On Jan. 1, 2016, the minimum wage will be raised to $10 per hour. California has one of the widest income gaps in the nation and last increased its minimum wage in 2008 to $8 per hour.

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  State Sen. Noreen Evans represents the Second Senatorial District, including all or portions of the counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Marin (caretaker), Napa, Solano and Sonoma. Sen. Evans chairs the Senate Committee on Judiciary.


  • Tom Sokolowski

    Thank you Noreen for making the argument that we all can agree on; the economic argument that Conservatives favor, and the pay fairness argument that liberals support. A recent University of Kansas study found if you doubled the salaries of McDonald’s employees from minimum wage workers to their CEO, it would increase the price of a Big Mac by 68 cents, and dollar menu items
    by 17 cents. When you put that extra money in the pockets of minimum wage workers, they don’t hide it in offshore tax havens; they spend it, and they spend it locally. Money spent locally supports local business.

  • annevincent

    Increasing the minimum wage – while leaving the borders open and prohibiting the use of eVerify or legal employment enforcement – acts to encourage further illegal employment. That will be the result. It has been the goal of the California Democratic Party for the last 3 decades – the massive importation of poverty and illegal labor, and the removal of our middle class from the state. This current measure is just another means to that end….under the guise of granting more “fairness” for our workers. Smoke and mirrors.

    • Tom Sokolowski

      Sorry Anne, but you are completely and irrevocably wrong; the minimum wage increase gives minimum wage workers, many being our sons and daughters, a few more bucks in their pockets to survive on. You seem to have the two issues confused; sorry but they are two separate issues! Besides, Governor Brown will sign the legislation for the increase, so you’ve already lost the battle!

      You seem to forget that it was your soul-mate Ronald Reagan, the original “cut and run” president, who opened the floodgates to our current immigration situation with his 1986 Illegal Alien Amnesty Act, better known as the Reagan Amnesty, legalizing millions of undocumented workers.

      If you like conspiracy theories so much, how about the one about Ted Cruz being a Trojan horse for a Canadian invasion of our country; you do know he’s not really an American, right? Although I just made it up, much like your conspiracy theory, I think it should be seriously discussed; what do you think?

      • annevincent

        I think you are so busy thinking in one dimension (in terms of blue vrs red) that you have failed to see the 3 dimensional picture. Both “parties” have betrayed the American people. Until we recognize and acknowledge the specific forces that have directly or indirectly undermined our nation, we have no means to correct our course. Use your common sense. Higher minimum wages are a great idea…..but not while simultaneously allowing/encouraging illegal employment practices. If you do not understand this concept, then read what Cesar Chavez wrote about this in the 1960’s. (When he formed the United Farm Workers.) There will never be any fairness for our workers, including wages and benefits, as long as illegal workers are allowed to take jobs in this country, because this acts to remove any leverage for workers. Increasing wage demands in our current situation will just act to encourage employers to continue to draw more illegal labor.

        • Tom Sokolowski

          I understand the concept, or at least the point you are trying to make; I simply disagree. I don’t think you make immigration policy by punishing low wage American workers.

          • annevincent

            Those low wage American workers are not being punished by the minimum wage amount. They are being punished by massive illegal/cheap labor that has been allowed to displace them from the better jobs with better wage and benefit prospects over time. Policies that act to encourage and enhance this unethical practice are not in anyone’s best interest, except those who profit off of this practice. People like you – who want to pretend that they are interested in helping the low wage workers – enact careless policies that have huge negative impacts on all of us. We can not afford and more stupid ideas. We need intelligent policies and laws that will actually translate into beneficial outcomes.