PHOENIX — Some workers in Arizona will be getting a pay increase over the next several years after voters approved Proposition 206, which raises the state’s minimum wage, on Tuesday.
Prop. 206 will take the hourly minimum wage from $8.05 to $12 per hour by 2020 and require employers to pay sick time to employees. The base wage will rise to $10 an hour next year, then increase every year until 2020.
For comparison, the federal minimum is $7.25 per hour.
It also allows workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, depending on the size of the business, and broadens the conditions that allow for sick time to include mental or physical illness or needing to care for a family member.
Had Prop. 206 failed, Arizona’s minimum wage would stay at $8.05 per hour (which can be adjusted for cost of living) and it would be up to employers to offer sick pay.
The measure had the support of a sizable number of Arizona officials — particularly Democrats.
“No one who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty and decide between buying groceries, medicine or paying the bills,” U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) told the Tucson Weekly prior to the vote. “Raising the minimum wage offers hardworking families the opportunity to put food on the table, care for their children, and creates a better future for our state.”
A variety of labor and family organizations and some unions have also supported Prop. 206.
The measure was opposed by U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and several business groups.
“Arizona’s voters and the state’s small businesses are the ones truly harmed by permitting this insufficient initiative to go to the ballot,” Restaurant Association President Steve Chucri said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.