The City Council has voted to draft a living wage ordinance that would require the city and its major contractors to pay at least $7.25 an hour to full-time employees.
The council voted 4-2 Monday to ask the city attorney to draft the ordinance. Council members Ann-Marie Villicana and Sidney F. Tyler Jr. dissented while Councilwoman Joyce Streator abstained, saying that she wants to know the exact cost before supporting such a move.
"One out of every five people is poor in a nation with an $8-trillion economy," said the Rev. George Regas, speaking for the Pasadena Living Wage Coalition.
The ordinance, proposed by Mayor Chris Holden, would require the city or any contractor providing $25,000 worth of services to pay its full-time employees $7.50 an hour or $8.50 an hour when they do not receive medical benefits. Some workers now make $5.75 per hour.
The law, similar to one adopted by Los Angeles last year, is expected to cost the city at least $800,000 a year in pay and contract costs, officials said.