Group Pushing To Hike Arizona Minimum Wage Targeting Leaders Who Oppose Prop 206

By Howard Fischer
Published: Monday, October 31, 2016 - 9:35am
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 10:56am

Leading in the polls and with lots of money to spend, the group pushing to increase the minimum wage has now turned its sights to defeating political foes.

Proposition 206 would hike the Arizona's minimum wage, currently $8.05 an hour, to $12 an hour by 2020.

Of the $3 million raised by Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families, about $62,000 has gone into targeting Republican incumbents and candidates. Proposition 206 campaign manager, Bill Scheel, said they are targeting the kind of lawmakers who would vote to undermine the initiative if it passes.

That's what happened three years ago, when legislators voted to bar cities and towns from enacting their own minimum wage laws. That got blocked only when Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the 2006 initiative that created the state's first minimum wage specifically permits a local option.

"We think it's important that voters know which legislative candidates are supportive of Prop 206, and which legislators are likely to attempt to undermine the will of the voters and undercut Prop 206 after it's enacted," said Brnovich.

Initiative foe Garrick Taylor of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said big donations by national groups, coupled with spending on the candidate races, shows there is an alternate agenda.

"It's now become apparent that Proposition 206 is just one element of a bigger play by labor in Arizona to make this state more hostile to job creators," Taylor said.

But Taylor conceded he has had no luck convincing national business groups to put money into the anti-206 campaign, which has less than $26,000.

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