According to the Denver Post, Initiative 101’s campaign, the $12 an hour minimum wage hike ballot proposal, expects to deliver 200,000 petition signatures to the secretary of state’s office Monday. No doubt such proposals are politically popular. But the overwhelming body of evidence suggests that increasing the minimum wage would do little to reduce poverty or inequality. On the other hand it would almost certainly reduce employment opportunities, especially for those low skilled, entry level workers for whom a job represents the first rungs on the ladder of opportunity.
Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement today, July 22, 2016:
“Colorado families need real opportunity and real results, not showy campaigns that will fail to deliver on their glossy promises. Low-income and vulnerable communities are at risk right now of being tricked by shallow campaign slogans and promised future wage hikes. Colorado families need the cost of living to become more affordable through true, meaningful reform and education. Initiative 101 will only hurt the poor and it is a death sentence to opportunity and much-needed economic relief in our state.”
Colorado’s state mandated minimum wage is $8.31. The federal mandated minimum wage is lower at $7.25.
The job-killing campaign needs 98,492 signatures from Colorado voters to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. The group according to the Post “still has until Aug. 8, 2016, to submit petitions.”
“We’re so excited to have this much support,” Lizeth Chacon, co-chairwoman of Colorado Families for a Fair Wage told the Post. “It’s indicative of the need and the excitement that’s out there to get this on the ballot.”