$50 minimum wage? Here’s what U.S. Senate candidates for California say

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Minimum wage is a topic that draws a lot of attention, especially in California, a state that has one of the highest minimum wages in the United States.

In a debate Monday night, Rep. Barbara Lee defended her previous advocacy for a $50 minimum wage.

WATCH: Leading candidates in California US Senate race face off on debate stage tonight

“In the Bay Area, I believe it was the United Way that came out with a report that very recently $127,000 for a family of four is just barely enough to get by,” Lee said. “Another survey very recently: $104,000. For a family of one, barely enough to get by low income because of the affordability crisis.”

A wage of $50 an hour would total $104,000 over the course of a year.

“Just do the math. Of course we have national minimum wages that we need to raise to a living wage,” Lee said. “We’re talking about $20, $25 – fine. But I have got to be focused on what California needs and what the affordability factor is when we calculate this wage.”

Republican Steve Garvey said he was not in favor of changing the minimum wage.

“Again, minimum wage is where it is and should be,” Garvey said. “If you look at what California has done to fast food franchises right now, increasing the minimum wage to $20. Then what’s going to happen? That’s going to increase costs for hard-working Californians to go to a franchise.”

In the past, Schiff and Porter offered a more measured approach.

At a previous debate in January, Porter suggested the minimum wage should be around $20 at the national level and $25 in California.

In the same debate, Schiff suggested a $25 national minimum wage.

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