A proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2 over five years was sidelined, at least temporarily, on Monday because it would cost the state millions of dollars.
The Senate Appropriations Committee put the bill by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) on suspense. There it will undergo more study, negotiation and potential change to reduce the cost before a final determination is made later this month on whether to send it to the Senate floor.
Alejo had originally proposed to raise the minimum wage by $1.25 an hour, to $9.25, over three years.
But he changed it to remove cost-of-living increases in future years. Under the new bill, the minimum wage would increase by 25 cents to $8.25 in January and gradually increase to $10 by Jan. 1, 2018.
The state government employs about 4,500 minimum wage workers so the original bill would have cost the state an extra $2.6 million.