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Minimum Wage: 5 Noteworthy Quotes in Heated Debate About Arizona's Minimum Wage

By    |   Friday, 08 Jan 2016 09:09 PM

Arizona’s minimum wage rises every Jan. 1 with a cost of living adjustment, a fact that keeps the debate in the state fresh. On Jan. 1, 2015, the statewide minimum wage rose to $8.05, compared to a federal minimum wage of $7.25.

These cost of living adjustments were approved by voters on a special statewide ballot measure, Proposition 202, in 2006. They’ve been part of the debate ever since.

1. "After all of that has kind of shaken out, there's not a real profound effect on employment. This is still an open question. As long as changes to the minimum wage are relatively small, I think other market forces would outweigh a modest increase in the minimum wage."
Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, to The Arizona Republic, Sept. 4, 2014.

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2. "It has eliminated jobs in restaurants. Some restaurants have done away with busboys entirely ... and now we're seeing price increases. This is a razor-thin-profit-margin industry; this is a pennies business."
Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, to The Arizona Republic, Sept. 4, 2014,

3. “I’m against the fact that the minimum wage is mandated by the government when it should be market-driven.”
Rick Murray, CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association, to the Arizona Capitol Times, on the 2014 increase in the Arizona state minimum wage to keep pace with inflation

4. “In 2006, you could be working 40 hours a week and still be below the poverty wage. That is not what this country is based on. The people that are living on those wages are not putting huge chunks of their salary into 401(k)s or retirement investment plans. They’re basically living week to week, so they are putting the money right back into the economy.”
Rebekah Friend, executive director of the Arizona AFL-CIO, to the Arizona Capitol Times

5. “It requires bringing more jobs back to this country from overseas, it’s providing greater training to workers. ... Frankly, it’s going to require raising the minimum wage. It’s going to require a greater commitment among businesses to invest in their employees.”
Chris Lu, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, on a visit to Phoenix on March 26, 2015, speaking about building a more diverse economy and skilled labor pool during an economic development meeting at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.

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Arizona’s minimum wage rises every Jan. 1 with a cost of living adjustment, a fact that keeps the debate in the state fresh. These cost of living adjustments were approved by voters on a special statewide ballot measure, Proposition 202, in 2006. They’ve been part of the debate ever since.
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2016-09-08
Friday, 08 Jan 2016 09:09 PM
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