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Judge Refuses To Block Prop 206 From Taking Effect On Jan 1

A Superior court judge on Wednesday refused to block the voter-approved hike in Arizona’s minimum wage from taking effect as scheduled on Jan. 1.

In a setback for business interests, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley rebuffed their arguments that Proposition 206 should have been split into two separate measures, one to set the minimum at $10 an hour next year, eventually reaching $12 by 2020, and the other to require that employers give workers at least three days of paid personal leave.

Tomas Robles, who chairs the group that pushed the initiative, said he is pleased with Wednesday's ruling but is dismayed by the prospect of months of legal battles.

"It's kind of funny how businesses don't have money to pay workers supposedly from the chamber's point of view," Robles said. "But they have hundreds of thousands of dollars for legal fees."

Business interests led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the owners of the Valle Luna restaurant can still appeal the decision to the Arizona  Supreme Court to intercede between now and the end of the year.