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Deal reached to take California minimum wage to $15 an hour



California legislators and labor unions on Saturday reached an agreement that will take the state’s minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour, a state senator said, a move that would make for the largest statewide minimum in the nation by far.

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, told The Associated Press the proposal would go before the Legislature as part of his minimum-wage bill that stalled last year.

Leno said the deal would avoid taking the issue to the ballot. One union-backed initiative has already qualified for the ballot, and a second, competing measure is also trying to qualify.

“This is an issue I’ve been working on for many years,” Leno said. “The governor and stakeholders have all been negotiating earnestly and in good faith for some time.”

Leno did not confirm specifics of the agreement, but most proposals have the wage increasing about a dollar per year until it reaches $15 per hour.

The Los Angeles Times, which first reported the deal, said the wage would rise to $10.50 in 2017, to $11 an hour in 2018, and one dollar per year to take it to $15 by 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply.

At $10 an hour, California already has one of the highest minimum wages in the nation along with Massachusetts. Only Washington, D.C., at $10.50 per hour is higher. The hike to $15 would make it the highest statewide wage in the nation by far, though raises are in the works in other states that might change by the time the plateau is reached in 2022.

Some states have passed higher minimums for government employees and state-contracted workers, and some cities including Seattle have already passed $15 an hour increases.

And Oregon officials approved a law earlier this month that will increase that state’s minimum wage to nearly $15 in urban areas over the next six years.

California union leaders, however, said they would not immediately dispense with planned ballot measures.

Sean Wherley, a spokesman for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, confirmed that his group was involved in the negotiations. But he said the group will continue pushing ahead with its initiative that has already qualified for the ballot.

“Ours is on the ballot. We want to be certain of what all this is,” Wherley said. “We are going ahead with it. If some agreement is signed into law, then our executive board would decide what to do. They would only make that decision after any agreement is signed into law.”
The union proposal that has already qualified for the ballot calls for reaching the $15 mark by 2021. The second proposed measure would reach $15 by 2020. Businesses and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown have said such a steep wage increase would be incredibly costly.

A spokesman for Brown, Evan Westrup, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kevin Liao, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, declined to comment.

TALK ABOUT GOING STRAIGHT TO THE SOURCE…….


Woman tracks down sperm donor and marries him

A woman has spoken of how she tracked down the sperm-donor father of her child – before the pair fell in love and got married.

British-born Australian Aminah Hart gave birth to daughter Leila following IVF treatment.

Despite never having met him, Ms Hart chose cattle farmer Scott Andersen, 45, as a donor because he described himself as “happy and healthy”, according to the Mirror.

Using the internet, Ms Hart was able to track down Mr Andersen, who also teaches Australian rules football.

She decided to contact him through the formal channels of the IVF clinic, allowing him to turn down a request for contact.

Mr Andersen was not legally obliged to meet Leila until she turned 18.

However, upon seeing a picture of his biological daughter, who strongly bears his resemblance, he agreed to connect with her.

Following a period of email correspondence, Mr Andersen met both mother and daughter in Melbourne.

After the meeting, the pair went on to have a relationship and married two years later.

“What happened to Scott and I is such a random thing,” Ms Hart told Channel Nine.

“He was basically just a brief profile on a piece of paper. He could have been anyone. The fact that we met and we liked each other and we fell in love and all of those things are still so far-fetched to me.”

Mr Andersen said that he first agreed to the meeting in order to see Leila but later developed feelings for Ms Hart.

Two other children she gave birth to from previous relationships, Marlon and Louis, both died at a very young age.

She later found out she had a rare genetic disorder which only affected male offspring.

“They were very sick little boys but had very distinct personalities,” Ms Hart told the Mail Online.

“They were human beings and I just wanted to pay tribute to them because they are kind of how I got here.

“You can’t really put it into words. I had two relationships and two children but it wasn’t until the second one that I got a diagnosis of the genetic disorder. I did set out to have a family the conventional way and if I didn’t have them I wouldn’t have Leila or Scott.

“I would have never been looking for a sperm donor or thought to go through IVF to have a baby on my own.”

Ms Hart’s story, recorded in a book, is also due to be turned into a film