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Flagstaff Could Lose $1.1M Over $15 Minimum Wage Dispute

The outcome of a legal fight between Flagstaff and Arizona lawmakers could affect the decision by residents of other cities whether they want to impose their own minimum wage.

In 2016, Flagstaff voters approved a citizen’s initiative that called for a minimum wage this year of $15 an hour. That is more than the state minimum wage of $12.15 an hour. That difference is the source of the dispute.

The new state budget contains a provision which would assess the city more than $1.1 million. It calls for the state to assess Flagstaff for the increased expenditures the state might incur for any costs from having a higher minimum wage than state law.

There is not any direct cost to the state. The Flagstaff ordinance does not apply to state employees or those working in the university system.

The state argues there are indirect effects that lead to increased costs for the state.

An emergency hearing for is set for later this month.