Supervisor Sheila Kuehl introduced a motion Tuesday to have the county match Los Angeles and create a new, local minimum wage that would be $15 per hour by 2020. This minimum wage would apply to people who work in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and to county employees. The Board of Supervisors is preliminarily expected to take it up next week.
Kuehl said a survey by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. found that no businesses would close due to a higher minimum wage. “We find that very few employers surveyed foresee substantial negative impacts from raising the minimum wage, and in fact a commanding percentage believe their businesses and employees will be better off in key respects,” her motion says. Actually, business groups in Los Angeles bitterly oppose the new mandate and I assume they would fight the county setting a new, higher minimum wage too.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he also plans to propose increasing the pay for county contractors. “I do believe that there is a readiness to address income inequality in the county of Los Angeles,” he said.
On Tuesday, the board voted to raise the minimum wage — to $11.18 an hour — for about 140,000 In-Home Supportive Services providers who care for about 190,000 elderly and disabled patients.
Also, the Board of Supervisors voted to oppose the bill in the state legislature by state Sen. Tony Mendoza that would increase the size of the board to seven (from the current five.) The vote was 3-0 because Mark Ridley Thomas and Hilda Solis opted to abstain. If Mendoza's proposed state constitutional amendment passes, it would need to be voted on statewide.