Business leaders responded to Gov. Brown signing the minimum wage bill, SB 3, raising concerns that the increases will come too fast, but also urging the governor and legislature to now turn their attention to making policy to improve the business climate in the state. Some of the comments from the business community are published below.

Rob Lapsley, President, California Business Roundtable

“Just three years ago, the business community followed the governor’s leadership to implement the current $10 per hour minimum wage. Now, with 8 days’ notice, the governor has signed SB 3, which will increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and increase costs to the state’s General Fund by $4 billion per year in 2022. Since the minimum wage is now indexed to grow each subsequent year, the impact to future state budgets will be even higher.

“California is already dealing with a two-tiered economy with 13 counties still facing double-digit unemployment. This legislation comes on top of increased legislation, regulations and policies that continue to make California one of the most expensive states in the nation to do business.

“While we understand his reasons for signing the bill, the most important issue moving forward is to now have the governor and Legislature pass policies and regulations that will strengthen our economy and grow middle class jobs, not add more costs on California businesses.”

Dorothy Rothrock, President, California Manufacturers & Technology Association

“Manufacturing provides the opportunity for middle skilled workers to obtain the higher wage jobs available in the manufacturing economy.  Imposing such a steep minimum wage increase on manufacturers, including large established companies and small firms that want to grow in California, creates a challenge by raising their labor costs in a globally competitive market. For this reason, the Governor and Legislature should quickly take steps to improve its business climate and adopt policies to encourage manufacturing investments and job growth in the state.”

California Consumers Against Higher Prices, formed by business and others to oppose a rapid increase in the minimum wage

“It is discouraging to see the lack of deliberation among policymakers when considering legislation of this magnitude.  While our elected officials have claimed to act in the best interest of their constituents, actions speak louder than words – in just one short week, the Legislature has made a fly-by-night decision to approve a dramatic minimum wage increase that will result in long-term consequences for our state’s most vulnerable populations.

Right now, all eyes are on California, and it is unfortunate that Legislators have showcased a clear willingness to strike a bad deal alongside special interest groups at the expense of their constituents, working families and small businesses. This is policymaking in its most incredulous form, and while we are resolved to craft solutions that will help our members survive these drastic changes, we fear that this overreaching policy is too much, too fast and is nothing short of economic malpractice.”

California Consumers Against Higher Prices represents a broad coalition of parents, seniors, farmers and small business owners.