BAKERSFIELD, CA - The measure to raise the state minimum wage is gaining some traction in Sacramento. AB 10 passed through the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. It would raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9.25 an hour over the next three years.
California's minimum wage hasn't gone up since 2008. While supporters say it's time, those against the raise say it will cost jobs and consumers.
Inside Dagny's in downtown Bakersfield, business and barristas are busy.
Nicole Sanchez is just starting this job, making minimum wage. It's her second job. Combined, she works over 60 hours a week just to pay the bills and try to save up to continue college.
"Like, right away for the next class I needed to buy like two or three books that were a couple hundred dollars. So, I was just like, oh," said Sanchez.
AB 10 would give people like Nicole a boost. It would raise the state's current minimum wage from $8 an hour over the next three years, to $9.25.
That's $10 more a day, $50 more a week, and $2,600 more a year by 2016.
"I think that would be amazing," said Sanchez.
Owner of Dagny's, Mike Walters, says he'd be forced to mark up his product.
"Everything is going to go up immediately. Everything is going to go up," said Walters. "That's the only thing you can do. My rent stays the same. PG&E goes up now with this heat. The only thing you can do is just raise the prices."
The National Federation of Independent Business believes AB 10 will do more than raise prices. A study they released estimates over 68,000 jobs will be lost over the next decade and it will cost the state $5.7 billion in lost services and production.
And, minimum wage is a debated issue in the race for the 16th District Senate seat.
During a candidates debate on April 16th, candidate Andy Vidak said, "Minimum wage doesn't help anybody that's unemployed."
Vidak said the focus should be on job creation. However, fellow candidate and 5th District Supervisor, Leticia Perez, is running campaign commercials for the raise, calling it a win-win for people and business.
"Let's put money in the hands of the people we know have the need and are going to spend the money and boost our economy by supporting our businesses," said Perez.
"You just wouldn't have to live thinking about money all of the time. You actually get to enjoy things," said Sanchez if the raise goes through.
If AB 10 passes, the minimum wage would be adjusted every year starting in 2017 to keep up with inflation.