A Wildly Ambitious New Bill Would Raise the Minimum Wage for Hundreds of Thousands in California

By Mark Kreidler

April 28, 2023

The latest legislative effort to give hundreds of thousands of health care workers a wage that enables them to afford living in California is facing predictable headwinds. Industry lobbyists quickly forecasted mass job cuts and higher costs to patients, while the powerful California Chamber of Commerce labeled the proposal a job killer.

But behind the shouting lies a larger truth: The issue of affordability isn’t going away. And regardless of the fate of the most current bill, California’s aging population, with its growing need for health care services, virtually assures that the topic will continue to be visited.

Introduced by state Sen. María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), SB 525 would raise the minimum wage to $25 for a vast array of health care workers and support staff. That includes those employed at hospitals, nursing facilities, medical offices, dialysis clinics and other settings, and it runs from nurses all the way to janitors and food service workers. read more