Today the Los Angeles City Council approved a measure to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.
City Attorney Mike Feuer will develop an ordinance for the wage hike, which will go back to the council for another vote. Prior to the most recent approval, the Economic Development Committee unanimously voted to raise the minimum wage, which is currently $9 an hour in Los Angeles.
The change will be gradual and businesses with 25 or fewer employees and some non-profits will have more time to make the shift to a higher pay.
"We were able to pull together competing concerns," council member Curren Price told SCPR. "Some people would like to see it happen faster, some would like it slower. We've got a compromise in the middle.”
Business leaders and community activists sparred over the issue. The former argued that it would force them to lay off employees or leave Los Angeles. Others claimed the incase in wages wasn't significant enough to support families - the City of Angels has one of the least affordable housing markets in the country. Coupled with the high cost of living, many residents find it difficult to survive on their current paychecks.
The change will effect as many as 800,000 workers.
Make no mistake," said Councilman Paul Krekorian, "Today the city of Los Angeles, the second-biggest city in the nation, is leading the nation.”
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti supported the move and had called for an even faster shift to higher wages prior to the council’s vote.