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City Leaders Consider Raising Minimum Wage At First Of Several Public Hearings

LOS ANGELES ( — The move to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles was considered Tuesday during the first of a series of hearings to consider the issue.

As CBS2's Randy Paige reports, the city council's Economic Development Committee hosted the hearing to discuss the idea of gradually raising the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15.25 per hour.

During the hearing, the council heard from authors of several studies, including U.C. Berkeley Economic Professor Michael Reich, who summarized the results of his study, which concluded that the benefits of raising the minimum wage would largely outweigh the costs.

"The policy will have the intended treatment. It will raise living standards," said Reich of the study, which was commissioned by the city of L.A.

But Christopher Thornberg, an economist, said his study concluded the opposite.

That study commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce found that the resulting loss of jobs and higher prices from an increase in minimum wage would hurt those living in poverty more than it would assist them.

"The benefits are just too diffused. They are offset by job losses and ultimately the cost to the city economy are far too high," he said.

Paige reports that the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors are also considering raising the minimum wage in the county.

Councilmember Curren Price will host three additional Economic Development Committee hearings on March 26, March 31 and April 2.

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