Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative

“It puts more money in the pockets of working families, and when those folks have more money, they spend it. Locally, and they spend it on Main Street.” -Patty Kupfer, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage campaign manager.

Colorado Families for a Fair Wage delivered almost 200,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office on Monday July 25th, to place an initiative on the November ballot that will raise the Colorado minimum wage to $12 by 2020. Only 98,492 verified signatures were needed to qualify, which Colorado Families for a Fair Wage eclipsed by over 100,000 signatures, showing overwhelming support for the measure.

Patty Kupfer, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage campaign manager, spoke with Maeve Conran about this initiative and what it is intended to do for the economy. There is opposition for this initiative, however, and the discussion addresses these arguments as well.

Keep Colorado Working, a coalition of Colorado organizations opposed to the measure, say that the  minimum wage increase will cost 90,000 Coloradans their jobs. They believe that increasing the minimum wage may be affordable for some companies in Denver, but it is not affordable for some small businesses and rural communities across the state. Unfortunately, laws in Colorado do not allow for different minimum wages in different communities.

“It was not an option for us to do it based on region because there is a law that preempts the cities to raise their (minimum) wage higher than the state…I think there’s a lot of interest in working to change that in the legislature.”