Coloradans may vote on raising minimum wage to $12

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(Photo: MGN Online)

DENVER – Advocates hoping to raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 are closer to getting their proposal on the ballot in November.

“Colorado Families for a Fair Wage” turned in about 200,000 signatures Monday, according to a statement released by organizers.

“The 200,000 signatures is more than double the 98,492 signatures needed to qualify, showing overwhelming support for the measure,” the group said in a statement.

The minimum wage in Colorado is currently $8.31 and is adjusted annually for inflation.

“In Colorado, a minimum wage worker needs to work 80 hours per week to afford a basic two bedroom apartment,” advocates stated.

Initiative 101 would raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

Supporters of Initiate 101 say “modestly raising” the minimum wage does not result in job loss “in sectors most likely to hire minimum wage workers” and it helps the economy by increasing consumer spending.

However, critics say the increase is too steep and will hurt small businesses.

“Initiative 101 is a job-killing 44% minimum wage increase that will hurt small businesses and communities across rural Colorado,” organizers with Keep Colorado Working stated on Facebook.

In 2006, Colorado voters passed Initiative 42, which raised the minimum wage to $6.85 per hour and “provided for it to be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.”

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009.

California, New York and Washington, D.C. have passed $15-an-hour minimum-wage laws. New Jersey lawmakers approved a similar bill but it could still be vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.