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:
Maricopa 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.
Business interests led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry are virtually certain to ask the state Supreme Court to intercede between now and the end of the year.
And regardless of whether an injunction is issued and the wages go up on January 1, foes still have the opportunity to challenge the law at a full-blown trial which would likely not occur for months.
Because we are the Chamber of Commerce and we own this state! The will of the voters be damned!