Browse all articles

Common Sense Kids Action Supports California's New Minimum Wage Agreement

Landmark Minimum Wage Agreement Gets a "For Kids" Rating from Common Sense Kids Action

Once again, California is leading the nation in providing common sense support to families. On Monday, the state announced the landmark minimum wage agreement that will make California the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, Governor Jerry Brown expressed his hope that "what happens in California will not stay in California but spread all across the country." We share this hope because, as he said, "It's a matter of economic justice. It makes sense."

Common Sense Kids Action is a strong supporter of raising the minimum wage, because it's one of the most effective ways to support California's kids. Consider the following facts:

  • Nearly half of all children in California live in families that are in or near poverty.
  • Over 80 percent of these children live in families with at least one adult working.
  • Women make up nearly 60 percent of all minimum wage earners in the state, and most of them are the sole or co-breadwinners for their families.
  • Annual income of full-time work at minimum wage in 2016 at $10 per hour: $20,800.
  • Annual income of full-time work at minimum wage in 2022 at $15 per hour: $31,200.
  • The 2016 federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,300.

Faced with these stark realities and growing income inequality, California had to act to ensure full-time workers supporting their families do not fall below the poverty line. State leaders could not wait for federal action, because Congress has blocked all efforts to raise the federal minimum wage, which has sat at $7.25 per hour since 2009.

Common Sense Kids Action awarded the landmark minimum wage agreement set forth in Senate Bill 3 with a "For Kids" designation as part of its Legislative Ratings program, which rates bills based on how a potential law would help or harm kids. Common Sense Legislative Ratings highlight, publicize, and advocate for bills that would significantly help kids -- and expose bills that would appreciably harm kids. To join the movement, or to find more information, please visit

Kids Action