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Arizona Chamber urges judge to block wage hike

Posted at 8:02 PM, Dec 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 22:02:41-05
PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) -- An attorney representing Arizona business groups told a judge that the state will need $55 million to comply with a voter-mandated boost in the minimum wage in the coming six months. He called the increase "irreparable harm" requiring that the law be blocked from taking effect.
A lawyer for the state's Medicaid agency also told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley Tuesday that it had no choice but to boost payments to providers to help them keep employees when the wage increase takes effect.
The Medicaid agency position contradicts the argument put forward by the Arizona Attorney General's office that says any increased payments are discretionary and don't invalidate Proposition 206.
The measure raises the minimum wage from $8.05 an hour to $10 on Jan. 1 and to $12 in 2020.
Judge Kiley heard arguments in the case Tuesday afternoon and promised a quick decision. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry says Proposition 206 is unconstitutional because it didn't identify a funding source. Whatever sides loses is expected to appeal.