Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve $15 Minimum Wage

Unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County will join the City of Los Angeles in mandating a $15 minimum wage by 2020 following a vote by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. The decision was 3 to 2 with Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich dissenting, arguing that it would put affected businesses and nonprofits at a competitive disadvantage.

The awaited vote had previously been delayed after an unfavorable report from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. The increase, it concluded, would result in higher prices, diminished employment, and slowed job growth, while pushing some businesses out of the region altogether. In the end, Supervisor Hilda Solis—who initially expressed concerns after the report—joined with Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas in supporting the plan.

“The more you make, the more you spend,” Kuehl said Tuesday, reiterating her position that higher wages would spur economic growth. Supporters of the proposal now hope other local governments will join the effort to minimize any economic disruption. Officials in Pasadena will discuss that possibility next week, according to Mayor Terry Tornek. But Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said it was too soon for his city which is still battling the effects of the recession. Santa Monica and West Hollywood are considering a wage hike as well, while Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said the city is in a “wait-and-see mode.”

Read more about Tuesday’s vote here.