Los Angeles City Clerk Frank Martinez announced Thursday that he has certified the petitions submitted by a coalition of airport area hotels and business groups to place a recently passed living wage ordinance on the ballot with the hope of overturning it.


A spokeswoman said the City Clerk certified the petitions late Wednesday and will present them to the City Council on Friday morning. The Council will then have 20 days to rescind the ordinance it passed in November, place it on the ballot or agree to a compromise and place that on the ballot alongside the original ordinance.


If the ordinance goes on the ballot as a referendum, it will likely come to a vote in the May citywide general election. If a majority of voters vote "yes," the ordinance becomes law immediately.


The living wage ordinance requires 12 hotels on Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport to pay hotel employees $9.39 an hour with benefits or $10.64 an hour without benefits. It marks the first time in the city that businesses not contracting with the city would be required to pay the living wage.


The Council passed the ordinance on an 11-3 vote despite fierce opposition from the hotel owners and broader business community. The opponents then opted to gather signatures to place the ordinance on the ballot as a referendum. On Dec. 29, they presented 109,000 signatures to the City Clerk, more than twice the required number.


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