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Flagstaff Boosts Minimum Wage To $15

Hourly workers in Flagstaff will ring in the new year on Friday with another leap in their minimum wage, up to $15 per hour from $13, while the minimum for tipped employees climbs to $12 per hour.

Voters approved a schedule of minimum wage increases in 2016, choosing to bump up the rates each year on Jan. 1, beginning in 2018. 

Next year, Flagstaff will add another 50 cents to its minimum wage. In following years, Flagstaff will base wage increases on the cost of living, but the law says it must always stay $2 above Arizona’s minimum wage rate.

The entire state's minimum wage also gets a boost Friday, climbing 15 cents to $12.15 per hour. 

Critics of Flagstaff's policies have pointed out increased wages could hurt business owners’ bottom line, as they struggle through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Austin Fast joined KJZZ in 2020 as he finished his master's degree in investigative journalism at Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.Before moving to Phoenix, he covered the world’s largest wild salmon fishery at KDLG Public Radio in rural Alaska, wrote breaking news at a Cincinnati TV station, and taught English overseas with the Peace Corps. He now works on the investigations team at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.