Los Angeles City Council committee votes to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2020

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles City Council committee voted Wednesday in favor of boosting the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

People working a minimum wage job in the city could see a significant pay raise in the next few years as part of a proposed ordinance that was hammered out by the finance committee.

Brenda Smith was one of dozens of people at Wednesday's hearing in City Hall who spoke in favor of a minimum wage increase.

"All we want is the $15. We don't want it in 2019, we want it now," she said during public comment.

The council has been working on a proposed wage increase for the past seven months. The current minimum wage in California is $9 an hour. The proposal that goes before the council on Tuesday would raise it to $10.50 an hour by next July, $13.25 by 2018 and then $15 by 2020.

"By lifting people out of poverty who are working full time here in Los Angeles we're creating more disposable income, stimulating the economy with those wages," councilmember Paul Krekorian said.

But those in opposition of the proposal say they are concerned about the increase.

Richard LoGuercio is the owner of Town & Country Event Rentals, one of the city's top rental supply companies. Town & Country employs 450 people at its three locations.

"We really need to have some common sense reform so there's opportunity for everybody," he said. "If I've got a guy that's already making $15 that's been here for three years. Guess what? I hire a new guy at $15. [The other employee] is going to want $19."

Jan Sobel is president of the West Valley Boys and Girls Club in Canoga Park. She said nonprofit organizations should be exempt from the increase.

"We understand there needs to be more money for working parents, but at the same time there has to be some consideration of nonprofits and how we're going to cope with such a huge increase in such a short span of time," she said.
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