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Los Angeles Could Vote On A Measure To Raise City's Minimum Wage To $15/Hour
A new ballot proposal has been issued calling for minimum wage to be increased to $15/hour, which would be an increase of $6 from the state minimum wage.This proposal from the Los Angeles Workers Assembly and Peoples Power Assemblies comes on the heels of Seattle's decision to increase their minimum wage to $15/hour, KPCC reports.
California is on track to raise its minimum wage to $10/hour by January 2016, which followed a recent increase to $9/hour on July 1—the first minimum wage increase in five years. But the idea of cities choosing their own minimum wages makes sense—it costs a lot more to live in Los Angeles than it does to live in, say, Victorville. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has proposed a similar measure to gradually increase minimum wage from $10.74 to $15/hour by July 1, 2018, though the proposal is getting opposition from restaurant and bar owners who claim they'll have to pass the increased costs onto the consumer.
The state of New York is considering raising its wage to $13.13/hour, which New York Comptroller Scott Stringer says would help 1.2 million New Yorkers bring home an extra $100/week.
Though workers, particularly in the fast food industry, have been lobbying to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, no one's holding their breath on that. Federal minimum wage right now is $7.25/hour, which comes out to $1160 a month for a full-timer before taxes, if you can imagine living in L.A. on that.
If approved, this local measure would only apply to larger businesses—small operations and nonprofits would get a two-year delay. However, for those businesses it would impact, the groups behind the bill want the increase to go into effect immediately upon approval.
In order for this to actually happen at all, however, the ballot will need an additional 61,000 signatures. Then, the L.A. City Council would either need to approve it or put it on the ballot. If enough signatures are collected, Angelenos could be voting on this as soon as March. The bill is getting opposition from some business groups. Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, says $15/hour is too much and that it will only drive businesses to cut hours and jobs.
L.A. Workers Association is hosting a campaign launch at L.A. Trade Tech College this Saturday. Event details are here.