More than 1 million people in Los Angeles live below the poverty line. That’s a staggering 28 percent of Angelenos.
Compared with other major U.S. cities, LA has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest percentage of residents living in poverty.
To address that, Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to increase the city’s current minimum wage of $9 an hour, according to USA Today.
“I’m proposing to responsibly and gradually raise the minimum wage in LA to $13.25 because it’s deplorable and bad for our economy to have 1 million Angelenos stuck in poverty, even when working full time,” Garcetti said.
LA is the latest city to consider raising its minimum wage. Others that have done so include San Francisco, Washington, D.C., San Jose, Calif., San Diego and Seattle.
Garcetti’s proposal would boost the minimum wage to $10.25 in 2015, $11.75 in 2016 and $13.25 in 2017. “Any future increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to ensure wages are not eroded by inflation,” CBS Los Angeles said.
The California Hotel & Lodging Association called Garcetti’s proposal “troubling,” USA Today said.
Many small-business owners are concerned that the hike in wages will force them to close up shop, CBS said.
Others support the proposal. Eli Broad, a contributor to the Los Angeles Times, wrote:
An increase in the minimum wage would not only be good for low-wage workers. It would also be good for the city, good for the economy and, in the long term, good for business. It is, simply put, the right thing to do.
The increase would require City Council approval before it becomes law.
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