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Los Angeles County Increases Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

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The L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2020 in the unincorporated areas of the county. Angelenos are just making $9 an hour in minimum wage right now.

This increase would apply to all private sectors in the unincorporated areas of L.A. County, which make up about a tenth of the county's population, and also to county employees, according to Reuters. The minimum wage would incrementally increase to $15 an hour by 2020. Small businesses would have until 2021 to meet the minimum wage mark, ABC 7 reports. And then in 2022, the wage will then increase every year based on inflation.

"A higher wage in this county, in unincorporated areas like in the city, will attract the best workers, and the hardest working, the least training, the best cost savings for our businesses," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told ABC 7.

The next step is for the county lawyers to write the proposed law that shows the incremental increase, and the board would have to vote on approving it.

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However, there are still the local governments from incorporated cities in L.A. County that may need some convincing to join to movement to hike up the minimum wage. The L.A. Times reports that Glendale, Pasadena, Santa Clarita, Torrance and Long Beach haven't decided on whether they'll be raising theirs. Santa Monica and West Hollywood are currently considering minimum wage increases.

Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford told the Times some of his concerns for the wage increase. Some businesses in nearby unincorporated areas have told him they can't afford the hike, and that it would put them at a disadvantage because customers would just shop in Palmdale instead. "It reduces a business' competitive advantage," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose district includes Palmdale, told the Times. "Especially in unincorporated areas that are literally across the street from incorporated cities."

Supporters of the raised minimum wage rallied outside of City Hall in downtown L.A. on Tuesday. "This has been a very long and necessary fight," Roberto Balanzar, who was at the rally, told ABC 7. "Every day in Los Angeles is becoming very difficult to survive in less than $15 an hour. There are three million people living in poverty here in Los Angeles County, and every single one of them will benefit from the wage hike."

This decision comes just over a week after Garcetti signed a law to gradually raise the minimum wage in the city of Los Angeles to $15 an hour.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Los Angeles today to promote a higher minimum wage.