Small Business

AB 10: Time is Ripe for California to Raise the Minimum Wage

By Martin J. Bennett

The New York Times recently characterized the economic recovery that officially began in 2009 as a "golden era for corporate profits." Indeed, corporate profits doubled between 2008 and 2011 and reached a record high.

However, these increased profits have fueled inequality and come at the expense of worker compensation. Profits are now a larger share of total national income, and wages and benefits are a smaller share than at any time since the 1960s.

Over the last four decades productivity gains have overwhelmingly accrued to business and not labor. The Economic Policy Institute calculates that between 1973-2011 productivity increased by 80 percent, but median hourly compensation by only 11 percent.

Covered California Builds a Narrow Bridge

By Linda Leu

The Board of Covered California, California's new health benefit exchange system created in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), met Tuesday in Sacramento. The board and stakeholders in attendance heard a variety of reports on the progress of implementation. According to the countdown on the newly launched website, Covered California is 307 days away from providing quality affordable coverage to Californians.

California Can't Stop Unreasonable Insurance Rate Hike, Says Insurance Commissioner

By Doug Heller

Anthem Blue Cross plans to go ahead with a 10.6% average annual health insurance rate hike on small business owners, despite the fact that an examination by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones found the rate increase to be unreasonable and unsupportable, the Insurance Commissioner announced yesterday.

An initiative measure that will appear on the next general election ballot would give California the authority to publicly review rate increases, and reject those that are excessive. Unlike most states, California law allows unreasonable rate increases to take effect.