TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Whether some of us get a raise could be up to Arizona voters. But that’s only if petitions that backers just turned in have enough valid signatures. KGUN9 talked to people for, and against the possible change.
Minimum wage jobs can be tough, grueling work to bring in what some workers would not even call a living wage.
Samantha Coronado goes to UA. She says she works three jobs but at minimum wage it can still be a squeeze to get by and knows if she were raising a family it would be tougher still.
“When you're a family of four, when you have to support other people the same as yourself. It takes a toll on your health and it takes a toll on families and on people's abilities to save money and to prosper and get out of poverty."
For several weeks now, petition gatherers have been running around with clipboards gathering signatures. If the Secretary of State decides there are enough signatures, there will be a question on the November election ballot. It will ask should minimum wage go from the current eight dollars an hour, really $8.05 to ten dollars by January, ten dollars and fifty cents the following year, eleven dollars the year after that, and twelve dollars by 2020.
California passed a law raised the minimum there for fifteen dollars an hour. Other states are considering hikes.
Mike Varney, the President of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce says a higher minimum here might hurt more workers than it helps because if each worker costs more, companies might keep fewer workers.
"You might see restaurants automating and eliminating positions altogether. You may see some businesses closing, you may see some companies decide to move to another state."
Varney would rather see resources go to programs to educate people help them get jobs with higher pay.
Now it could be up to voters to decide the best way to help people get ahead.