Take the swirling politics over wages and income inequality, add in a healthy dose of expectations about the size and ideology of California's 2016 electorate, and you've got the perfect recipe -- in the minds of some -- for voters to boost the state's minimum wage via a ballot initiative.
One of the state's largest and most active health care unions -- SEIU United Healthcare Workers West -- submitted an initiative on Monday to boost California's statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2021.
The increase would happen incrementally, with the wage rising $1 a year for the next five years. California's current minimum wage, $9 an hour, is already slated to rise to $10 an hour next January.
The initiative also seeks to create something long fought by business groups during legislative debates at the state Capitol: An automatic increase in the minimum wage during times of rising inflation.
Steve Trossman of SEIU-UHW said the initiative is just the latest effort inspired by the national charge for a $15-an-hour wage.