Assembly Speaker Toni. Photo by Chris Stone

California Assembly Speaker has endorsed a ballot initiative to slowly increase California’s minimum wage to $15.

According to media reports, this movement to raise California’s minimum wage has strong voter support and would affect 3.3 million workers across the state. This includes over 350,000 in San Diego County.

“In a place as expensive as California, we can’t expect workers to support themselves or their families on less than $21,000 a year, which is how much a full-time employee on the minimum wage earns today,” Atkins said.

“I know firsthand what it’s like for a working family struggling to get by, and this is our chance to improve the future of millions of Californians.”

The organization SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West is sponsoring the ballot initiative. In January, this group submitted just under 550,000 signatures in support of the wage raise to election officials, according to media reports.

This will qualify the measure of supporters for the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot. Officials have until March 22 to count the signatures and determine if the initiative qualifies for the ballot.

In a Field Poll, it was found that 68 percent of Californians favor the increase of minimum wage.

California’s minimum wage should increase to $11 in 2017 and then add another dollar to it each year, if the Fair Wage Act of 2016 passes. The minimum wage would cap at $15 in 2021, and from then on it would automatically be adjusted for cost of living.

Over 300 community organizations, labor unions, faith leaders, small business owners and elected officials have endorsed the initiative.

This list includes California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California Controller Betty Yee, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf who co-chairs the initiative campaign. There’s also 24 state legislators expressing their support for the movement.

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