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Flagstaff May Be Penalized Over A Million Dollars By The State Due To The City’s Minimum Wage Act

As the state legislature begins the budget portion of the current session, one legislator found something in the Republican budget that affects Flagstaff. House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding tweeted Tuesday, “the GOP passed a bill a couple years ago to penalize cities who increase their minimum wage above the state’s.” He says, “due to this, the GOP budget will charge Flagstaff $1.1-million dollars for investing in people through increased wages.” Bolding is referring to Senate Bill 1487 that was passed and signed into law in 2017. The bill was co-sponsored by then LD6 Senator Sylvia Allen, LD7 Senator Carlyle Begay and current Congressman Andy Biggs. The bill discourages cities from enacting minimum wage and benefits laws, that voter-approved Proposition 202 provided when it was approved in 2006. Prop 202 states counties, cities and towns can enact ordinances to regulate the minimum wage and benefits, as long as the ordinances don’t decrease the local minimum wage below the state minimum wage rate. The current minimum wage in Arizona is $12.15 an hour, while the minimum wage in Flagstaff is currently $15 an hour and will increase to $15.50 an hour in January. We will see if this budget item stays in this year’s budget by the time it gets to Governor Ducey’s desk.

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