Advocates pushing to raise California\u0026#039;s minimum wage to $18 an hour heralded a key development Thursday as they began submitting more than one million signatures to get the Living Wage Act on the November ballot, easily surpassing the roughly 623,000 required.\r\n\r\n\u0022We\u0026#039;re going to set a new bar for working people all over the country.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022California Voters have been clear: people working full time should be able to afford life\u0026#039;s basic needs,\u0022 said anti-poverty activist Joe Sanberg, who filed the ballot initiative, in a statement.\r\n\r\nThe state\u0026#039;s current minimum wage for employers, $15 an hour, was implemented just this year, though the wage drops to $14 an hour for companies with fewer than 26 employees.\r\n\r\nSanberg says the wage floor is clearly insufficient.\r\n\r\n\u0022Californians simply cannot afford to support a family on the current minimum wage—which amounts to just $32,000 a year for someone working full-time,\u0022 he said. \u0022Raising the minimum wage in the Golden State is a moral imperative.\u0022\r\n\r\nIf the Living Wage Act passes in November, it would increase the minimum wage incrementally, boosting it $1 per year until reaching $18 on January 1, 2025 for employers with 26 or more workers. Employers with fewer workers have an additional year to hit that minimum wage.\r\n\r\nThereafter, the minimum wage for all employees would also increase over time to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living.\r\n\r\nSanberg estimates that wage increase could mean an additional $6,420 per year for more than 5 million workers.\r\n\r\nBeyond organizational backers like the California Faculty Association, Unite Here Local 11, and SEIU Local 87, the proposal appears to have strong public support.\r\n\r\nSupporters of the ballot initiative point to a survey conducted last month of 1,200 likely voters in the state showing 76% in favor of raising the wage.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Raising the minimum wage,\u0022 said California Labor Federation executive secretary-treasurer Art Pulaski, \u0022is one of the strongest anti-poverty measures we have as a state.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022For low-wage workers, a higher minimum wage is life-changing,\u0022 he said. \u0022Better wages for workers also means they have more to spend at local businesses in our communities. If we\u0026#039;re serious about combating poverty and reducing inequality, raising the minimum wage is an absolute necessity.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to Sanberg, successful passage of the initiative could reverberate nationwide.\r\n\r\n\u0022Not only are we going to give 6M+ California workers a raise,\u0022 he tweeted Thursday, \u0022we\u0026#039;re going to set a new bar for working people all over the country.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis article has been updated to correct Sanberg\u0026#039;s reference of the Golden, not Gold, State.