AZ Central Editorial Board: “Our View: Prop. 206 sounds good but has heavy costs”

According to a new editorial from the AZ Central Editorial Board, Prop 206 will likely hurt those it is intended to help.

The proposal would raise mandatory wages from $8.05 an hour to $12 an hour by 2020, nearly a 50-percent increase.

That means an employer would need to pay $8,200 more a year for each minimum-wage employee working a 40-hour week. Multiply that by the number of minimum-wage workers, add increased wages of next-level-up workers, and one can begin to see the burden this mandate would have on businesses.

Especially small businesses, which won’t be as capable of absorbing such a hit. The same small businesses (those with 50 or fewer employees) that make up a majority of employers in this state.

Read the full Republic editorial here >

My Turn: Proposition 206 will affect Arizona seniors

Currently the average cost in Arizona for in-home services ranges from $20 to $24 per hour. If Prop 206 passes, services most likely will exceed $30 per hour. For many older adults on a fixed income, and for financially strapped Baby Boomers taking care of their parents and their own families, this increase will be devastating.

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My Turn: Minimum wage’s minimum impact on 2016 politics

Researcher: Don’t buy polls that show strong support for higher minimum wages.

Economists at Trinity and Miami universities used Congressional Budget Office methodology to conclude that 15,000 jobs would be lost in Arizona at a $12 minimum wage.

In cities and states that have already pursued dramatic minimum-wage increases, these consequences are being felt.

Read the full story here >

West growers group opposes minimum wage proposition

Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers, said that if Proposition 206 passes, it will hurt Arizona’s farmers and the rural economies dependent on family businesses.

“Labor is the single largest line item in a farmer’s budget; simple economics dictates that increasing such costs by nearly 50 percent will cause people to lose their jobs,” Nassif said in a statement. “The truth is, many family farmers, still recovering from the recession, will not be able to absorb the added financial and regulatory burdens of Proposition 206 and will be forced to eliminate countless jobs they currently provide to farm workers. Furthermore, the cost of living disparity between rural and urban Arizona makes a one-size-fits-all minimum wage law fundamentally unfair to farming businesses in rural communities.”

Learn more here >

Robb: Arizona’s minimum wage initiatives are filled with wishful thinking

The case for the minimum wage is an odd amalgam of agitprop and wishful thinking.

There will be two ballot propositions in Arizona this election increasing the minimum wage. The statewide initiative, Proposition 206, would increase it from $8.05 an hour to $10 this January, rising to $12 in 2020. Flagstaff voters will decide a measure, Proposition 414, that also increases it to roughly $10 in January, rising to $15 by 2021.

Read the rest >

Will Prop 206 Boost or Bust Arizona Job Market?

Pro-business advocates think businesses will be forced into a handful of choices by the law.  “They can cut employees hours, they can cease hiring, they could accelerate automation that will make employees unnecessary, or they can raise prices,” said the Arizona Chamber of Commerce’s Garrick Taylor.

Irony alert: Minimum-wage measure spurts lawsuit over pay

The Secretary of State’s Office did examine every signature and threw out about 20,000 as invalid. And then of the remaining 238,938 signatures, the counties’ election offices determined 176,472 qualified. Essentially, 25 percent of the signatures were discarded. During a legal challenge of the signatures that was later dismissed on a technicality, other signatures were deemed likely invalid due to a gatherer’s criminal background, or other reasons.

And that, said committee campaign manager Bill Scheel, is the crux of the issue. “The contract was that we would pay for valid signatures,” Scheel said. “They did not properly screen and register the circulators, so tens of thousands of signatures were disqualified and very nearly prevented Arizona voters from being able to decide on this important measure.”