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LA County Officials Commission Study On Impact Of Minimum Wage Hike

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors followed in the footsteps of city officials Tuesday in calling for a study on how raising the minimum wage would impact the local economy.

Acting on a motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis, the board agreed to spend up to $95,000 to have the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation review a series of studies related to the city's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017 and to $15.25 an hour by 2019.

According to officials, approximately 2.7 million residents in L.A. County live at or below the poverty line, with about 1 in 5 residents unable to afford basic living expenses.

Los Angeles city officials are still debating the possibility of raising the minimum wage.

Two recent studies have offered conflicting views on what kind of impact raising the minimum wage would have.

Researchers at UC Berkeley last month concluded that despite an expected hike in costs and a subsequent drop in demand, such effects would be offset by nearly $2.4 billion added to workers' wages by 2019.

Another report funded by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce could kill as many as $140,000 new jobs if wages are hiked to above $13 an hour.

Kuehl told KNX 1070's Jon Baird it's time for officials to take a closer look at the proposal.

"It seems like a good way to stimulate the economy and it seems like a notion whose time has come," she said.

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