Mayor will make minimum wage law official at signing today in South L.A.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will make minimum wage law official at signing ceremony this afternoon

Mayor Eric Garcetti will formally sign into law Los Angeles' landmark ordinance boosting the city's minimum wage at a ceremony Saturday in South Los Angeles.

The signing will take place at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, a symbolic nod to the civil rights leader's campaign to improve economic conditions for low-wage workers.

The law would raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 an hour by 2020, improving the financial outlook for hundreds of thousands of workers and making L.A. the largest city in the country to mandate higher pay for workers at the bottom of the income ladder.

Backers predicted its passage here could reverberate across the nation, ultimately aiding millions of Americans.

"The winds in this country do blow from the west to the east," City Council President Herb Wesson said when the council approved the measure. "And cities throughout the United States will watch what we do, and they will do the same."

Uncertainty remains over how the wage boost will affect the Los Angeles economy. Three different studies, one sought by labor, one by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and one by the city, drew sharply different conclusions about its economic effects, ranging from the ominous to the optimistic.

Labor and community activists insist that the higher wages will stimulate the local economy. But leading business groups warn that the new law could end up hurting workers as employers cut jobs to survive.

"Today, you made the American dream for so many harder in Los Angeles," Ruben Gonzalez of the Chamber of Commerce told lawmakers.

Several council members are also expected to attend the mayor's official signing of the minimum wage ordinance.

Twitter: @geholland


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