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Los Angeles hikes hourly minimum wage to $15

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted 14-1 to set a $15 hourly minimum wage by 2020, the city announced on its website.

The council directed the city's attorney to prepare legislation that will phase in the new rate over several years, reaching $15 in 2020 for large businesses and in 2021 for smaller businesses and some nonprofits, with future adjustments to be pegged to increases in the costs of living.

"Today, help is on the way for the 1 million Angelenos who live in poverty," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, adding that "the minimum wage should not be a poverty wage in Los Angeles."

Once the city council readies the wage ordinance, a council committee will vote again and if approved, it will return to the full council for a final vote and then to the mayor's desk.

Minimum wage in California is $9 an hour.

Labor groups applauded the move.

The impact is "huge," Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project said in a statement, pointing to an analysis of an earlier proposal that found raising the rate to $15.25 by 2019 would benefit more than 600,000 workers, or more than 40 percent of the city's workforce.

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