LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Members of the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted to tentatively adopt an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years.
The proposed increases will take place on the first of July of each year after the City Council voted 13-1 in favor of the ordinance.
Under the ordinance, the minimum wage will go from $9 per hour to $10.50 an hour beginning in 2016. The rate will then jump to $12 in 2017; $13.25 in 2018; $14.25 in 2019; and $15 by 2020.
Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees will have the wage increases moved back by one year.
Once both small and large businesses reach $15 per hour, the wage will continue increasing in 2022 based on the cost of living.
City Council members are also expected to consider including a requirement for employers to provide paid leave to workers.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports opponents of the ordinance warned boosting the minimum wage will force businesses to raise prices or lay off workers.:
Ruben Gonzalez, Vice President of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, said that while he agrees something should be done to help the working poor, this ordinance isn’t it.
“It’s actually going to have the opposite effect and hurt those it claims it’s going to help,” said Gonzalez.
City Councilman Paul Krekorian, however, said it could take some time before the full impact of the vote hits the local economy.
“Whether some people will lose their job or lose hours or something, I think there will certainly be some of that,” Krekorian said. “The question is, will their be a net benefit? And there will be, with this policy, a significant net benefit.”
In May, the City Council voted 14-2 to increase the minimum wage. The Economic Development Committee also unanimously approved the ordinance.
Officials explained in order for the ordinance to be adopted immediately, at least 12 City Council members will need the vote in favor. Otherwise, it will need to be returned for a second reading.
Due to the vote not being unanimous, it will return to the City Council for a second reading before it will be sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti.
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