California delays minimum wage increase for healthcare workers

The deal came in an effort to help balance the state’s budget in the face of a $47 billion deficit.

California Democrats have agreed to delay the minimum wage increase for healthcare workers in order to address the state’s $47 billion deficit. 

Over 400,000 healthcare workers will have to wait longer to see their minimum wage increase. 


The big picture: The delay in the raise, part of a plan to increase pay gradually to $25 per hour over a decade, may now happen by Oct. 15 if state revenues meet certain criteria. 

  • Otherwise, the raise will begin by Jan 1, 2025, at the latest. 
  • The postponement was a result of a larger plan to close an estimated $46.8 billion shortfall in California’s budget.

By the numbers: The increase in the minimum wage for health care workers would have initially cost the state about $2 billion but will now cost about $600 million from the general fund if delayed until January.

  • The budget agreement includes $297.9 billion in spending over the next fiscal year, with $16 billion in cuts allocated, including cuts to educational programs and affordable housing.
  • The budget deal also includes a temporary tax hike on businesses with more than $1 million in taxable income and additional cuts to state prisons and state agencies.

What they’re saying: “This agreement sets the state on a path for long-term fiscal stability – addressing the current shortfall and strengthening budget resilience down the road,” Newsom said in a statement regarding the entire budget. 

  • He continued, “We’re making sure to preserve programs that serve millions of Californians, including key funding for education, health care, expanded behavioral health services, and combatting homelessness. I’m grateful for the partnership of our legislative leaders in meeting this challenge with balanced solutions that continue to make progress on California’s priorities.”
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