CAIRO — California lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would allow employers to pay workers more if they are also required to pay health care benefits.
It would also raise the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11.50 per hour.
The measure passed in the state Senate by a vote of 23-14.
The Assembly passed it by a 21-14 vote on a voice vote.
The Senate bill is expected to be heard by the full Senate later this week, and the full Assembly would have to approve it before it could take effect.
The bill would also set up a statewide minimum wage of $10 per hour and create a statewide health care plan.
California currently has a $10 minimum wage that has been in place since 2010, but the bill would extend it by five years to 2021.
It is one of the highest in the nation.
The minimum wage is set to increase to $10 by 2021 for full-time employees earning $22.70 per hour or more.
However, the bill does not go as far as some other states in setting the wage, such as New York and Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Labor has recommended the federal minimum wage be $15 for full time workers and $10 for part-time workers.
The minimum wage in California is currently $7.25.