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FROM THIS EPISODE

Some 70 cities all over the US have adopted a so-called "living wage" in an attempt to reduce poverty by raising the pay of government workers and contractors higher than the state minimum wage. But the idea is being hotly debated. Ventura just turned it down and Santa Monica may repeal it. Michigan State University economist David Neumark, who recently completed a living-wage study for the Public Policy Institute of California, admits he's surprised by the cost-benefit results of his findings. Economist Robert Pollin, who authored similar studies for LA and Santa Monica, says the challenge now is to minimize the cost in order to more free low-end workers from depending on government handouts.
  • Newsmaker: Polls Show Parks Stalls Hahn's Popularity
    Ten years ago, LA Mayor Tom Bradley wasn't talking to Police Chief Daryl Gates. After the Rodney King riots, Gates retired. Now, Mayor Jim Hahn wants to fire Chief Bernard Parks. A new LA Times' poll reveals that Hahn may be paying a political price. Civil rights attorney Connie Rice explains why, despite the Rampart scandal and the LAPD's other problems, Parks is polling better than Hahn.
  • Reporter's Notebook: High Speed Rail Heading for November Ballot
    High speed trains running 150 miles an hour from Sacramento to San Diego are the ultimate goal of a 6 billion-dollar bond proposal being floated in Sacramento. Fresno's Democratic State Senator, Jim Costa, who authored the first major public works project of the 21st Century, says an expanding population, poor air quality, and overcrowded airports and freeways have left us little alternative.

Los Angeles

Public Policy Institute of California

National Bureau of Economic Research

Political Economy Research Institute

Santa Monica's Living Wage

SB 1856: High Speed Train Bond Act

Producers:
Frances Anderton

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