FROM Stuart Waldman
The Minimum Wage Just Rose - Did You Feel It? Today, Californians who work minimum wage jobs earned a dollar more. That’s because a law passed last year in Sacramento just took effect. The amount goes up another dollar by 2016. The result is a slightly higher base pay all across the state, but it’s also reminder that fast food workers in Bakersfield make the same starting pay as those in Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, cities like San Francisco and Seattle have gone further than state or federal minimum wage levels and passed their own policies. Can you live off $9/hour in LA? We'll take a look at the issue of minimum wage at the city and state level.
Does a Back to Basics Budget Leave Room for Big Ideas? LA Mayor Eric Garcetti hasn’t vanished since last year’s election but compared to Villaraigosa, Hahn and Riordan, he's been out of the press. He shows up at the ribbon cuttings, but he’s been out of the media spotlight. In last week’s State of the City speech, he explained that he’s gone “back to basics,” with a focus on getting City Hall and the economy working again. Today, he got down to specifics with his first budget proposal. Kerry Cavanaugh reported on city affairs for the Daily News. She was a producer for KCRW’s WWLA? and To The Point. She’s now an editorial writer for the LA Times.
Will LA Increase the Minimum Wage to a Record Level? The federal minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour, and Republicans in Congress want to keep it right there. California's is now $8 an hour, with an increase to $9 scheduled for this coming July and a bump to $10 in January of 2016. Now the LA City Council will decide whether to study the impact if hotels near LAX with more than 100 rooms had to pay workers $15.37 an hour.
The High Cost of Making Los Angeles 'Business Friendly' For decades, the City of Angeles has been called "unfriendly to business," in part because it taxes business at a higher rate than all the 87 other cities in LA County. Mayor Garcetti has long been a proponent of eliminating the business tax completely, and he's about to offer a phase-out plan .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.