Colorado Minimum Wage Hike Passes

In a close contest, Colorado voters ushered in Amendment 70, allowing minimum wage workers to expect bigger paychecks by the start of next year.

48 of Colorado’s 64 counties reported results early morning Wednesday, with 54.4 percent in favor of the measure, and 45.5 percent against.

As a result, 100,000 minimum wage workers will benefit from a pay rise by 2017, with the figure increasing to 419,000 by 2020.

The initiative was strongly supported by labor unions and advocacy groups who successfully argued that the cost of living and housing, particularly along the front range, was becoming untenable.

They also argued that better paid workers are more productive and do a better job at keeping customers satisfied.

Several business groups, including the Colorado Restaurant Association, put up tough resistance against the Amendment.

One restaurant owner, who voted for Amendment 70, felt it was the right thing to do.

“If someone works full-time and only brings home $300 a week, well that’s just not right, especially in a thriving economy like we have right now. It’s time everyone benefits from our prosperous economy.”

Over the next four years, the minimum wage will increase incrementally to $12 an hour:

2017: $9.30 per hour

2018: $10.20 per hour

2019: $11.10 per hour

2020: $12.00 per hour

The last time Coloradans elected to increase the minimum wage was in 2006 on an amendment known as Initiative 42 which raised the state’s minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.85.

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