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The Case For And Against Arizona's $12 Minimum Wage

Arizona minimum wage poster
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Arizona minimum wage is $12, as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Minimum wage earners in Arizona got a raise this year as the state’s $11 minimum has gone up to $12. The hike is part of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, a voter initiative that passed in 2016.

The increase puts Arizona among the states in the country with the highest minimum wages. The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25, a standard that hasn’t changed since 2009.

Advocates say this hike is a long time coming, that inflation has rendered the $7.25 an unacceptable living wage.

Critics, on the other hand, say it belies the spirit of the free market and needlessly burdens employers.

The Show turned to people on both sides of that argument.

Glenn Hamer, of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, opposes this hike. 

Cynthia Zwick is in favor.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.