Tag Archives: minimum wage

AZ Supreme Court unanimously upholds Prop. 206

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a challenge brought by our corporate overlords in the Chamber of Commerce organizations to the voter-approved Prop. 206, the minimum wage initiative, raising the state’s minimum wage and providing for paid time off regulations. The Arizona Capitol Times  (subscription required) reports, Supreme Court upholds minimum wage law:

The justices rejected arguments by a group of plaintiffs, led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, that Proposition 206 led to an unconstitutional mandate for the government to spend money. Attorneys for the chamber argued that expenses caused by Prop. 206, which raised the minimum wage to $10 per hour on January 1, violated the Arizona Constitution’s revenue-source rule.

Adopted in 2004, the rule requires ballot initiatives to identify funding sources for any new government spending.

Chief Justice Scott Bales announced the ruling in a brief order released Tuesday afternoon. A lengthier written opinion will be released at a later date.

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(Update) AZ Supreme Court oral argument on Prop. 206, Minimum Wage Initiative

It looks as if our corporate overlords at the Chamber of Commerce organizations seeking to overturn the will of the voters on Prop. 206, the Minimum Wage Initiative — and by extension to eliminate your constitutional right to pass laws by citizen initiatives — had a bad day in court on Thursday.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, AZ Supreme Court skeptical of minimum wage challenger arguments:

Arizona’s Supreme Court justices spent time March 9 imagining a world in which the state’s voters may never get to pass laws by the ballot again.

Justices repeatedly posed that scenario to Brett Johnson, an attorney representing the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other plaintiffs in their challenge to a higher minimum wage approved overwhelmingly by voters in November.

Johnson argued that parts of Proposition 206, including new mandates for benefits such as paid sick leave, are a direct mandate for the state to spend money, which violates the Arizona Constitution’s revenue source rule. That rule is a measure adopted in 2004 that requires ballot initiatives to identify funding sources for new government spending.

Chief Justice Scott Bales opened the hearing with a question that cut to the case’s potentially dramatic implications: If even indirect expenditures are sufficient to violate the revenue source rule, is there realistically any initiative that could be proposed that wouldn’t violate the Constitution?

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AZ Supreme Court to consider Prop. 206 Minimum Wage appeal

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments by Chamber of Commerce organizations that the new voter-approved minimum wage, Prop. 206, violates the state’s Constitution. State Supreme Court agrees to take up minimum wage case:

The Arizona Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of the case and announced Tuesday afternoon it will hold a hearing on March 9. At the heart of the issue, which the court will hear, is the claim that Proposition 206 violates the Constitution’s revenue source rule. The case was brought by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and other business groups and supported by Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican legislative leaders.

Justices had declined to block the minimum wage from taking effect on January 1, spurning an appeal from those same business groups after their initial complaint was struck down in Maricopa County Superior Court. Now attorneys will again argue that Proposition 206 violates a requirement in the Arizona Constitution that any new voter-mandated spending designate a funding source to cover its costs. The funding stream may not come from the general fund.

Attorneys for the chamber had offered up other legal arguments against the law in Superior Court, but the Supreme Court will only hear arguments concerning the revenue source rule. Opponents of the minimum wage hike contend the state is forced to increase spending for services through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which contracts with service providers to ensure people have access to care.

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UPDATE: Arizona Supreme Court declines to stay Minimum Wage initiative, Prop. 206

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Arizona Supreme Court declines to block Prop 206:

RaiseTheWageWithout comment the state Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a last-ditch bid by the business community, with support from Gov. Doug Ducey and legislative leaders, to delay the effect of Proposition 206. That measure, approved earlier this year by voters on a 58-42 margin, raises the current minimum wage of $8.05 an hour to $10 at the beginning of 2017.

The same initiative eventually increases that to $12 an hour by 2020. And beginning July 1 it requires employers to provide workers with at least three days of paid sick leave each year.

Thursday’s ruling does not end the matter.

The justices have agreed to consider claims by initiative foes that the measure violates a constitutional provision that requires all ballot proposals that result in new state spending to have a dedicated revenue source. But that won’t occur until February, meaning the $10 requirement will remain in place at least until then — if not beyond.

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Court upholds the will of the voters on Minimum Wage initiative (Prop. 206)

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley today denied the Arizona Chamber of Commerce’s attempt to prevent the Minimum Wage initiative (Prop.206) from taking effect as scheduled on January 1. The Chamber, of course, will appeal.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Superior Court judge refuses to block minimum wage hike:

RaiseTheWageMaricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley rebuffed arguments by business interests that Proposition 206 should have been split into two separate measures, one to set the minimum at $10 an hour and the other to require that employers give workers at least three days of paid personal leave.

Kiley also said there was no merit to the claim that the initiative violates a state constitutional provision which requires any voter-approved measure to have a separate source of revenues to cover the costs.

The judge said it may be that the state’s Medicaid program will increase what it pays to private contractors that offer nursing home and in-home services that now need pay workers only $8.05 an hour.

But he said nothing in the initiative actually mandates the higher expenditure. And he pointed out that both Arizona law and the contracts with Medicaid providers have provisions which say the state does not have to spend money it does not have.

Today’s ruling is unlikely the last word.

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Court refuses to enjoin the minimum wage initiative; hearing set for Tuesday

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley refused a request by Chamber of Commerce organizations to immediately block the voter-approved hike in the minimum wage from taking effect as scheduled next year. the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Judge refuses to block minimum wage hike:

RaiseTheWageKiley said there’s no basis for him to even consider whether to delay enforcement on the law, much less decide its constitutionality.

If nothing else, the judge noted that the challenge was filed only a day earlier. He said that means those defending the law — including both the attorney general’s office and Proposition 206 supporters — have not had a “fair opportunity” to respond to the allegations.

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Kiley did agree to consider the legal arguments in depth this coming Tuesday.

Kiley rejected claims by challengers that leaving the law in place before the full-blown hearing on its legality will cause hardship for employers.

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