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Arizona Grassroots Group Looks To Protect Proposition 206 Provisions

It’s been just over a year since the Minimum Wage and Paid Time Off Initiative, also known as Proposition 206, was approved by Arizona voters.

The measure will raise the state’s minimum wage to $12.00 per hour by 2020. It also provides five days of paid sick leave per year.

Grassroots organizations who helped promote the initiative want to make sure its provisions remain intact as approved by voters in November 2016.

Tomas Robles, co-executive director of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), a grassroots organization that helped collect signatures to place Proposition 206 on the ballot, said he’s worried about state lawmakers’ attempts to reverse the measure.

“Just this past week, a representative in the Legislature introduced a bill that would eliminate the sick leave and also freeze the current minimum wage at $10.50. It would have to be referred to the ballot, but this is just another example of Republicans doing the will of corporate interests instead of respecting the will of the voters," said Robles.

Bill Scheel, who works on political messaging for LUCHA, said the appetite for a federal paid leave law currently being promoted in Washington, D.C., runs counter to many state lawmakers’ views on the issue.

“Interestingly at the federal level, you’ve had people like Ivanka Trump come out very strongly in favor of more paid family leave," he said.

Scheel said initiatives like Proposition 206 give residents leverage against a governor and Legislature that he said “is more about protecting the wealthy and the big corporations.”

Tom Maxedon is the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition on Saturday and Sunday from 6-10 a.m. and All Things Considered on Monday from 3-6 p.m.