When the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry formed a committee under the leadership of Lea Marquez Peterson to oppose Proposition 206, we knew the trend lines weren’t in our favor. Across the country, minimum wage hikes appearing on ballots at the state and local level have been passing.
But the proposed minimum wage hike that an activist group is pushing here in Arizona is a different story. Proposition 206 calls for a nearly 50 percent hike in the entry-level wage by 2020. And it institutes a new paid leave mandate on employers. It’s such a dramatic, far reaching proposal, that we might just have a chance to convince voters that it’s a bad idea for Arizona, especially our small businesses.
A new poll shows our messages about the tremendous harm Proposition 206 could bring to Arizona’s economy is starting break through.
|Proposition 206||August 28, 2016 Results||September 30, 2016 Results|
|Yes on 206||52%||53%|
|No on 206||38%||40%|
Yes, we’re down. Yes, we still have a lot of ground to make up and not much time to do it. But over a month’s time, the proponents appear to be stuck in neutral. We still have a chance to win this thing.
Why is Proposition 206 such a bad idea? It leaves job creators with no good options.
They can cut their employees’ hours; they can stop hiring; they can accelerate automation, which makes employees unnecessary; or they can raise prices.
But passage of Proposition 206 also diminishes opportunity. It makes hiring more expensive, which hurts the very individuals the proponents claim to want to help: young people, those with fewer skills, the unemployed trying to break back into the labor market, and those who are currently in entry-level wage positions.
I encourage you to help us amplify our message and educate as many people as possible. We’ve created this Business Leader Toolkit on Proposition 206 to make it easy. We recommend that any communication to employees, association members, or networks be independently vetted by individual companies or associations.