Mixer: Is California doing enough for the poor?

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friday mixer bannerAs the budget debate continues over how to deal with the least among us in California, there are calls from the extreme left for Governor Brown, and the legislature, to devote more to those people and social programs that were hit hard in the state budget by the Great Recession, and they haven’t much recovered.

Here in Los Angeles, there are proposals to raise the city’s minimum wage. Mayor Garcetti wants to hike it to $13.25 an hour in two years, and to $15.25 by 2019. But, as expected, there is serious pushback from the business community, and a fight over which economic research team the city should use for doing research about wages in LA.

Joe Mathews is California Columnist for Zocalo Public Square, and Melanie Mason covers politics and state government for the LA Times. Both joined us for the Mixer.

There’s also been a push of late in Republican Party circles to highlight income inequality and disparities, with conservative, market-based  solutions. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has written a book addressing the need for more opportunity for lower-income Americans.

Former Vice Presidential candidate and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is also trying to come up with proposals.

Indeed, closer to home, you may remember former California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who famously  went undercover – with the exception of a few cameras – at a Fresno homeless shelter.