SACRAMENTO, May 31 (UPI) -- The California Assembly passed a proposal that would increase the state's minimum wage from $8 to $9.25 an hour over the next three years, officials said.
The proposal would require future increases of the state's minimum wage to keep pace with the rate of inflation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The bill's author, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, said higher wages would "allow our families to provide for their children, pay their bills and give them dignity and respect."
The measure would increase to $8.25 an hour next year, $8.75 in 2015 and reach $9.25 by 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
The vote was 42-24. Only Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, crossed party lines in the vote.
The California Chamber of Congress argued the increase in minimum wage would be a "job killer" and would prevent companies from being able to afford to hire new employees.
"You have to legislate in the real world," said Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner, R-Irvine. "You're not doing that if you support this bill."
The proposal advances to consideration by the state Senate.