A Los Angeles City Council committee recommended on Tuesday giving exemptions from the city’s new minimum wage ordinance to certain non-profit organizations. The Economic Development Committee wants to give an exemption of up to 18 months from complying with the wage law to non-profits that give workforce training to gang members, the homeless and other hard-to-employ people, according to media reports. These groups – which include Chrysalis, an organization providing jobs to the formerly homeless and otherwise disadvantaged, the L.A. Conservation Corps and Homeboy Industries – said the exemption was necessary or else they would have to reduce the number of people they serve, the Los Angeles Times reported. The city council this month approved increasing the city’s wage from the current statewide minimum of $9 an hour to $15 an hour over the next five years. The first increase, to $10.50 an hour, is scheduled for July 1, 2016. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees and some non-profits will receive an extra year with the first hike coming in 2017. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central City Association representing downtown businesses back the proposed exemption. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor has argued against loosening the rules, according to the Times. The committee asked city lawyers to draft language to spell out the requirements for an exemption. The matter now heads to the entire City Council for consideration.