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In Flagstaff, Voters Could Face Two Separate Minimum Wage Hike Proposals On The Ballot

Raising the minimum wage will be a hotly contested issue in Arizona this November. And in Flagstaff, voters could be asked the question twice at the ballot box.

Joe Bader with the group “Flagstaff Needs a Raise” says they’ve collected more than enough signatures for the proposal to appear on the city ballot. Voters would be asked to raise the minimum wage from $8.05 to $15 an hour by the year 2021.

“About 25 percent of the jobs in Flagstaff pay under 10 dollars an hour," Bader said. "This has been a chronic problem in Flagstaff given that it’s a tourist town.”

Meanwhile, the group “Fair Wages and Healthy Families” has submitted statewide signatures to ask all Arizonans whether to raise the state’s minimum to $12 by 2020.

Arizona Secretary of State’s office says there’s no clear answer if the statewide or higher local minimum wage would take precedence in Flagstaff.

Both proposals face strong resistance from state leaders and the business community, while Governor Doug Ducey has threatened to penalize cities that enact local minimum wage hikes.

Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce said, “What this would do is put upward pressure on wages. And what’s not clear from the proponents of these measures is where employers are going to get the money?” Taylor says he fears businesses may have to cut hours, layoff employees or divert funds to hire new workers to pay for the increase.

Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.