After Arizona voters approved a minimum wage hike last year, Sen. Sylvia Allen has introduced a proposal to hold the state’s minimum wage at $10.50.
Last election Proposition 206 raised the minimum wage from $8.05. It will continue to rise incrementally until it hits $12 an hour in 2020. Allen’s proposal would put a question on the November ballot that if chosen would block the future increases that are scheduled between now and 2020.
Allen’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016 would also override existing local laws that provide a higher minimum wage than the state, and it would almost completely repeal the required employer-provided three days of paid sick leave.
“The vast majority of small businesses are likely not in a position to raise their prices to cover the increased costs associated with a higher minimum wage and heavier benefit mandates. These unavoidable increases in labor costs translates to a lack of compensation flexibility, cuts in available work hours, and serious incentives for businesses to make the market-redefining investment in automation that directly kills employment opportunities for under-skilled workers,” said NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan.
According to Quinlan, SCR 1016 would help blunt the worst parts of Prop. 206. SCR 1016 is going to be heard (and is expected to pass) the Senate Commerce & Public Safety Committee on Monday, April 12.
“Generally speaking, resisting ballot initiatives that raise the minimum wage are a very tough undertaking for the business community and the unsuccessful campaign against Prop. 206 was no different,” Quinlan said. “But this ballot question was more than just a simple minimum wage hike. It included very ambitious and costly paid time-off provisions and explicit authorization for localities to go further in increasing the minimum wage in their jurisdictions as well as piling on more employment benefits.”
Allen told the Arizona Daily Sun that the minimum wage freeze at $10.50 would provide stability to business owners.
“Holding the minimum wage at $10.50 is a great minimum wage,” she said.