Southwest Journalist

Los Angeles close to approving $15 minimum wage

Workers+react+as+the+Los+Angeles+City+Council+votes+13-1+to+raise+the+minimum+wage+to+%2415+an+hour+by+2020%2C+but+a+second+vote+is+required+for+final+approval+because+the+tally+was+not+unanimous%2C+in+Los+Angeles%2C+Wednesday%2C+June+3%2C+2015.+Nonetheless%2C+Council+President+Herb+Wesson+stressed+to+the+cheering+crowd+that+the+outcome+was+all+but+certain.+%28AP+Photo%2FDamian+Dovarganes+%29
Workers react as the Los Angeles City Council votes 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required for final approval because the tally was not unanimous, in Los Angeles, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Nonetheless, Council President Herb Wesson stressed to the cheering crowd that the outcome was all but certain. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )

Workers react as the Los Angeles City Council votes 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required for final approval because the tally was not unanimous, in Los Angeles, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Nonetheless, Council President Herb Wesson stressed to the cheering crowd that the outcome was all but certain. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )

Workers react as the Los Angeles City Council votes 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required for final approval because the tally was not unanimous, in Los Angeles, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Nonetheless, Council President Herb Wesson stressed to the cheering crowd that the outcome was all but certain. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )

Audrey Fletcher

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CHRISTOPHER WEBER
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES The City Council voted 13-1 on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required for final approval because the tally was not unanimous.

Council President Herb Wesson stressed to the cheering crowd that the outcome was not certain.
Nonetheless, Wesson told council colleagues before the vote that it may be the most important of their political careers.

“The winds in this country do blow from the west to the east, and cities throughout the United States will watch what we do, and they will do the same,” he said. “So the action that we’re taking today will affect millions.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti also endorses the ordinance.

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson speaks to Council members to vote to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020 in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The Los Angeles City Council has voted 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required. The ordinance tentatively approved Wednesday had the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti. A final vote will be taken June 10 because the action Wednesday was not unanimous. The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson speaks to Council members to vote to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020 in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )

The increases would begin with a $10.50 wage in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would follow a year behind.
Before the vote, business community representatives warned of potential harmful effects from an increase. Workers urged the ordinance’s passage.

Calls for raising the minimum wage have grown as the nation struggles with fallout from the recession, worsening income inequality, persistent poverty and the challenges of immigration and the global economy.

Los Angeles would join Seattle and San Francisco as some of the largest cities in the nation with phased-in minimum wage laws that eventually require annual pay of about $31,200 for a full-time job.

Last year, Chicago passed a phased-in minimum wage increase to $13 an hour.

Earlier this week, the California Senate approved a plan to raise the statewide minimum wage again, lifting it to $13 an hour in 2017 and tying it to the inflation rate after that.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he also wants to boost his city’s minimum wage to $15.

In Los Angeles, some business leaders had expressed concern about potential amendments to the wage increase proposal that have been suggested over the past several weeks. The changes include an exemption for companies with unionized workforces and a mandate that companies give workers as many as 12 paid days off a year.

The mayor has declined to say whether he supported either amendment.

The final vote is set for June 10.

 

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Los Angeles close to approving $15 minimum wage