At a ceremony in downtown Los Angeles this morning, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will increase California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour over three years. It is the first hike to the state’s minimum wage in six years, and will make the rate one of the highest in the nation. The legislation gradually raises the current minimum of $8 an hour to $9 on July 1, 2014, then to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Brown called the bill an overdue piece of legislation that will help working-class families, closing the gap between “workers at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy,” according to news coverage of the ceremony, which will be repeated in Oakland this afternoon. The California Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business were among several business groups that fought the hike, arguing that it would drive up business costs and lead to a loss of jobs.