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Arizona’s Minimum Wage Battle: 354,278 Signatures Submitted for $18/Hour Initiative – Opponents Cry Foul

Minimum wage word written on wood block with American Dollar-bills. Directly above. Flat lay. Employment concept.

An Arizona campaign has submitted signatures for a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $18 per hour by 2026, but it faces opposition from the Arizona Restaurant Association, which supports a different plan for tipped workers.

Arizona Campaign Pushes for $18 Minimum Wage by 2026, Faces Opposition from Restaurant Association

According to BallotPedia News, a campaign in Arizona wants to raise the minimum wage to $18 per hour and took a big step by submitting signatures on July 3, 2024. Raise the Wage AZ, the group supporting this idea, turned in 354,278 signatures, more than the 255,949 needed for verification. If approved, voters will decide on this in the November 5, 2024 election. The plan would increase the minimum wage from $14.35 to $18 by 2026 and continue to adjust it based on the cost of living. It also aims to make tipped workers’ pay equal to other workers by 2028.

Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, is confident that this measure will get support, saying, “Come November, we’re confident that the One Fair Wage ballot measure will fuel turnout from critical constituencies of voters who are ready to vote themselves a raise and ensure that all Arizonans, including tipped service industry workers, can earn a full and fair minimum wage to support themselves and their families.” However, the Arizona Restaurant Association disagrees and supports a different plan. Their proposal would allow tipped workers to be paid 25% less than the minimum wage if their tips make up the difference.

READ ALSO: Guaranteed Income Revolution: Evanston’s Project 8092 Aims To Alleviate Poverty And Empower Families

Arizona’s Minimum Wage Battle: 354,278 Signatures Submitted for $18/Hour Initiative – Opponents Cry Foul (PHOTO: Hoodline)

Arizona Restaurant Association Opposes $18 Minimum Wage Initiative, Proposes Alternative Plan

Steve Chucri, president of the Arizona Restaurant Association, argues that the One Fair Wage plan would increase costs for families and hurt restaurant jobs. He said, “If this initiative actually qualifies for the ballot, we are confident Arizonans will not be fooled by its deception … The Tipped Workers Protection Act offers a better alternative. This bipartisan, Arizona-led ballot measure will protect tipped workers’ pay, preserve jobs, and save Arizona small businesses.” In the past, Arizona voters approved minimum wage increases in 2006 and 2016, showing a pattern of support for raising wages.

READ ALSO: My Safe Florida Home Program: Up To $10,000 In Grants For Hurricane-Related Home Upgrades

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