Based on the federal law, the current minimum wage in Arizona is $5.15 per hour.
Proposition 202 would establish a state minimum wage law and raise the minimum wage to $6.75 per hour beginning January 1, 2007. The state minimum wage would be increased each January 1 for changes in the cost of living.
The new state minimum wage law would apply to all employers except:
1. Any person who is employed by a parent or a sibling.
2. A person who is employed performing babysitting services in the employer's home on a casual basis.
3. Employees who regularly receive tips and who are otherwise exempt under federal minimum wage law.
4. The State of Arizona government. But political subdivisions of this state would have to comply with the state minimum wage law.
5. The United States government.
6. A business that has less than $500,000 in gross annual revenue and that is exempt from having to pay a minimum wage under federal law.
Proposition 202 also contains employer notice and record keeping requirements and enforcement and civil penalty provisions. The Legislature, a county, a city or a town may enact a law providing for a higher minimum wage than established by this proposition.
For Proposition 202
Richard Shapiro of Shapiro and Associates in Scottsdale encourages a "yes" vote on Proposition 202, as he believes the raise will not affect the success of a business. "I am a small business owner and I am voting "YES" on Proposition 202 to raise Arizona's minimum wage. As a small business owner, I recognize the difficulties many small businesses face to stay afloat and profitable, but I know that raising the minimum wage will not adversely affect the success of a business. In fact, recent studies have shown that raising the minimum wage improves the standard of living of families without hurting businesses. Raising the minimum wage to $6.75 would directly benefit 145,000 Arizonans and indirectly benefit hundreds of thousands more Arizonans as additional wages are increased. The majority of workers who will benefit from this minimum wage increase are adults, mostly women, who are trying to support themselves and their families. In fact, nearly 25% of all minimum wage workers are single mothers, 74% of minimum wage workers are over the age of 20, and nearly two-thirds are women. This initiative will not just benefit teenage workers who are getting their first job, this initiative will help everyday working men and women just trying to get by and often working paycheck to paycheck. Raising the minimum wage helps all Arizonans."
Against Proposition 202
The Arizona Farm Bureau opposes Proposition 202. "Minimum wage jobs are for part-time, very basic entry-level and transition positions. From our review of the economic literature and research, minimum wage increases may create more pay for given parties, but it certainly reduces the creation of new jobs. Arbitrarily driving up wages also results in higher consumer prices that affect the poor and those on fixed incomes disproportionately. Arizona voters should consider this perspective before automatically approving a measure that might seem intuitively appropriate on the surface."
ˆ A "yes" vote shall have the effect of raising the minimum wage to $6.75 per hour with certain exceptions beginning January 1, 2007, providing for yearly minimum wage cost of living increases, requiring employers to post notice about employee minimum wage rights, establishing penalties for violations of the law and permitting private lawsuits to enforce the law.
ˆ A "no" vote shall have the effect of continuing to follow existing federal minimum wage laws, which currently provide a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.
Another wage battle is brewing, and this one is for an increase in state legislators' annual salary.
Recommendation of the commission on salaries for elective state officers as to legislative salaries has been certified to the secretary of state. Recommendations, if approved by the electors, shall become effective at the beginning of the next regular legislative session without any other authorizing legislation.
The current salary is $24,000, and Proposition 302 recommends a 50% raise to $36,000 a year.
For Proposition 302
Steve Twist, Chairman of Board of Directors for Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges a "yes" vote on Proposition 302.
"Arizona's 30 state senators and 60 state representatives are often subjected to cynical cheap shots from critics and seldom get the credit they deserve for doing a difficult and oftentimes thankless job. Annually, our lawmakers must decide how to spend over $10 billion on crucial state programs like education, health care, public safety and environmental protection. They are charged with providing for an effective education system that prepares our children to succeed in a very competitive global economy. They are called upon to be good stewards of state lands and assets for the benefit of all Arizonans. They also are given the enormous power to tax. Since we give these 90 men and women so much responsibility and authority, we must do everything we can to attract the best and brightest to legislative service. Though the Arizona legislature meets in regular session for only five or six months each year, our lawmakers serve their districts in the off-session period by providing important constituent services and through special legislative committee hearings. Moreover, they are often called into special sessions by the governor. The demands on their time make it difficult to describe accurately the job of legislator as anything but full-time.
The Arizona chamber agrees with the commission on salaries for elective state officers that our hard-working lawmakers deserve higher compensation for all the time and effort they contribute to their constituents and the state of Arizona. The Arizona chamber of commerce and industry urges voters to vote yes on proposition 302."
Against Proposition 302
The secretary of state's office did not receive any arguments against Proposition 302.
ˆ A "yes" vote shall have the effect of raising State Legislators' salaries to $36,000 per year.
ˆ A "no" vote shall have the effect of keeping State Legislators' salaries at $24,000 per year.
Tuesday's edition will feature next in series: Proposition 101-Property tax & Proposition 104- Municipal debt