Colorado General Assembly could let cities hike minimum wage even further in 2019

DENVER -- Minimum wage is officially $11.10 an hour in Colorado. 2019 ushered in the latest increase, which is part of a series of increases approved by voters in 2016.

Minimum wage is set to go up one more time to $12 an hour in 2020.

But could it go up even more this year? Depending on where you live, yes. However, it would require action from the General Assembly.

Lawmakers confirm to FOX31 Political Reporter Joe St. George a bill to let the General Assembly allow cities to raise the minimum wage on their own will be brought back in 2019.

Currently, cities cannot have a higher minimum wage than the state.

A similar bill was proposed last year but was defeated by Senate Republicans. With Democrats taking control of the Chamber later this week, the chances of passage are higher.

"Making minimum wage all the time, it is kind of hard to buy a house, especially down here in Denver. So, obviously, making more money, maybe I'll get a loan," said Quirina Lopez, a server at Nick's Diner in northwest Denver.

Minimum wage for tipped employees increased to $8.08 an hour Jan. 1 as well.

However, business owners warn that increasing wages have consequences.

"Will you have to raise prices on your menu?" St. George asked Nick, the owner of Nick's Diner.

"Of course. Of course I'll have to do it to keep up," Nick said.

So, which cities in Colorado could increase their minimum wage if the General Assembly takes action?

Boulder and Denver are likely places. In Boulder, city employees already make $15.87 an hour. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is considering raising wages for city employees to $15 an hour in 2019.

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