New Calif. laws try to help employees, immigrants

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Democrats who control the California Legislature put a priority in 2013 on helping workers, as illustrated by many of the laws taking effect in the new year.

In lawmakers' most far-reaching move, minimum-wage earners will be paid $9 an hour starting July 1. It will be the first of two dollar-an-hour boosts that will push the base wage to $10 by 2016, giving California one of the nation's highest rates.

In addition, domestic workers now must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than nine hours in a day or more than 45 hours in a week. Workers in industries such as agriculture and landscaping must get rest breaks during hot weather.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed 805 bills into law in 2013, while vetoing 96.