Thursday, March 31, 2016

BREAKING, READ: Arizona Ballot Initiative Shoots For $12/hour Minimum Wage

(UPDATED 12:45pm to include comments from the campaign committee's chair.)

Arizona's minimum wage would rise to $12/hour over the next three years; a national group will begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative filed yesterday with the Secretary of State.

The current minimum wage is $8.05/hour. If the measure makes the ballot and is passed in November, it would immediately increase to $10.00/hour on January 1, and then would go up each year until it hits $12/hr in 2020.

Most efforts to raise the minimum wage have set $15/hr as the target.  HoweverTomas Robles, chair of Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families, explains that in their conversations with workers and small businesses over the past couple of years, it became clear that $12 was "the perfect medium."

He expects that there will still be opposition to the $12/hour proposal, but that many small businesses will speak out as part of the coalition and campaign, and that fair-minded voters of either political party and independents will support it.

The measure would also add provisions to Arizona law requiring employers to provide a minimum of 24 paid sick hours per year*.

To make the November ballot, the group must collect more than 150,642 valid signatures before July 7, 2016. A source informs Arizona's Politics that a combination of volunteer and paid circulators will be used to fill the petitions.

*For employers with fewer than 15 employees; larger employers would have to provide a minimum of 40 sick hours/year.

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Phoenix Justice said...

Would this ballot measure eliminate the built in yearly minimum wage increase?

Mitch M. said...

Thanks, PJ, good Q. Per the language above, there would be no yearly COLAs for UNTIL 2021!