August 22, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Denver, CO – Colorado voters will decide this November 8 whether to raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.31 an hour to $12.
“Workers who work for a minimum wage are no longer just teenagers or someone with a part-time job,” said State Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo). “Over 85 percent of those who would benefit from this would be over 20 years old and depend on one or more jobs to feed their families.” But pizza-franchise owner Dave Feamster said it would be hard to pay inexperienced workers $12 “right out of the gate,” and complained that “government’s running my business.” Anne Stattelman, head of Posada, a Pueblo-based agency that helps homeless people, said that $12 was “not enough,” because to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the area, “you need to make $15.04 an hour.” Minimum-wage increases are also on the ballot in Washington (to $13.50 by 2020) and Arizona and Maine (to $12), but Arizona’s is facing a challenge to the validity of its petitions. Read more