Bill Proposing Lower Minimum Wage For Arizona Young Adults Hits Wall

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 8:49am

A bill attempting to pay young adults $3.75 an hour less than other Arizonans earning minimum wage has hit a wall.

As written, Sen. Eddie Farnsworth said he suspects a provision in the bill potentially violates the Arizona constitution, which blocks lawmakers from tinkering with voter approved laws.

Democrats had argued the same, but with little effect.

On Monday, Republican Senate President Karen Fann agreed that the initiative bumping up the minimum wage from $8.05 to $10.00 an hour is hard on small businesses, but took issue with the assumption that 18 to 22 years old residents, working part-time jobs, can afford a lower minimum wage because they don't have families or kids.

"Well I know a lot of 18 to 22-year-olds that do have family and kids," she pushed back. "And these are also the kids that are trying to put themselves through college. So I have a hard time trying to take money away from them if they're truly trying to pay their way through school."

Until the House bill can be fully reviewed by the Rules Committee for constitutionality, the bill cannot go to the floor for debate.