SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Monday, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined labor leaders and legislators to announce an agreement making California the first state in the U.S. to commit to raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour, according to CSPnet.com.

“This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change,” said Brown in the article.

For businesses with 26 or more employees, stated the article, California’s minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2017, and then it will continue to rise each year until reaching $15 per hour by 2022.

Small businesses, 25 or fewer employees, are also recognized under the new plan, reported the article, however, these businesses are allowed additional time to phase in the wage increases.

According to the state government’s fact sheet titled, “Fact Sheet: Boosting California’s Minimum Wage to $15/Hour,” small businesses will have until 2023 to raise their hourly minimum wages to $15.

The purpose of the plan is to raise the wages over time, consistent with economic expansion for the state, while providing safety valves, which are known as “off-ramps,” to halt the wage increases “if negative economic or budgetary conditions emerge,” informed the article.

If there are poor economic conditions (negative job growth and retail sales) or a projected budget deficit (of more than 1 percent of annual revenue), continued the article, California’s governor can act by Sept. 1 of each year to pause the next year’s wage increases for one year.

When California’s statewide minimum wage reaches $15 per hour for all businesses, stated the article, the wages could then rise up to 3.5 percent (rounded to the nearest 10 cents) each year for inflation “as measured by the national Consumer Price Index.”

The new plan also will phase in sick leave for in-home supportive services employees starting in July 2018, added the article.

In September 2013, Brown signed AB 10 to raise the state’s minimum wage by 25 percent from $8 to $10 per hour, reported the article, which was effective by Jan. 1, 2016.

Out of the approximately seven million hourly employees in California, noted the article, around 2.2 million currently earn the minimum wage.

You can find the article here.