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BUSINESS
April 29, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California's $8-an-hour minimum wage needs to go up, says Watsonville Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo. And he may be getting the votes he needs to make it happen. But don't count on it; Alejo has tried this before. Alejo is the author of AB 10, which would give the Golden State its first minimum wage increase since 2008. The bill would raise it 25 cents an hour next year, 50 cents in 2015 and an additional 50 cents to $9.25 an hour in 2016. In 2017 and annually thereafter, hourly pay would be adjusted upward automatically, based on the state's inflation rate.
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BUSINESS
September 26, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
Hundreds of items found on supermarket shelves, such as shampoos, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and food packaging, could get chemical makeovers under new rules being put in force by California. On Thursday, state toxic chemical regulators will unveil what they say is the nation's most comprehensive program for identifying and reformulating common consumer products containing hazardous chemicals. In the past, the state took a piecemeal approach. Lawmakers would ban specific chemicals from particular products, such as bisphenol A in baby bottles and sippy cups.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Nearly 100 chanting and placard-waving union members marched to a downtown Sacramento office tower in a staged and futile attempt to serve a $240 million bill on the California Chamber of Commerce. The "invoice," union officials said, represented the amount of unpaid wages awarded by the state labor commissioner's office to workers that went uncollected from 2008 to 2011. The Service Employees International Union is sponsoring a bill aimed at preventing so-called wage theft.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown says he supports a bill in the Legislature that would boost the California minimum wage next year and in 2016 by a total of $2 an hour. The bill, AB 10 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville), is now before the state Senate and must win final passage from the Legislature before a Friday recess.   Subway, In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A top Zagat fast-food survey “The minimum wage has  not kept pace with rising costs,” the governor said in a statement released by his office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - A proposal to charge a tax on oil pumped from the ground in California was approved Thursday by a state Senate panel on grounds that it would help fund higher education in the state. The Senate Education Committee voted, 5-2, to advance the bill that would levy a 9.5% tax to raise $2 billion annually to be divided among state universities and colleges, state parks and human service programs. “California is the only major oil producer in the world that does not collect taxes on oil production,” Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
OPINION
February 13, 2000
"Business Isn't Thinking of Taxpayers" (Commentary, Feb. 7) failed to take a look at what California businesses are doing to strengthen our state. The California Chamber of Commerce and California Business Roundtable are working to improve California's business climate and its economy. We believe two initiatives, one scheduled for the March 7 ballot and one currently in the signature-gathering stage, are necessary if California is to continue to prosper. The overwhelming majority of California's business community supports Prop.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2013 | By Chris Megerian and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - The Assembly passed a proposal Thursday to hike California's minimum wage from $8 to $9.25 an hour over the next three years and require future increases to keep pace with inflation. Higher wages would "allow our families to provide for their children, pay their bills and give them dignity and respect," said Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville), the bill's author. The measure, which now goes to the Senate, was one of scores that lawmakers advanced as they raced to meet an internal deadline to keep legislation moving.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By James Barragan, Marc Lifsher and E. Scott Reckard
President Obama named Los Angeles businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a community bank and a former California Cabinet member, as his nominee to head the Small Business Administration. Obama said Contreras-Sweet, who has worked with small businesses in the private sector, understands what small businesses need. "Maria knows how hard it is to get started on a business," Obama said Wednesday. "The grueling hours, the stress, the occasional self-doubt. " "So not only did she start small businesses, but those have also been her customers, and she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means a lack of opportunity," he said.
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