Proposition 206: Minimum Wage Debate

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Hear from both sides on proposition 206, a measure that would raise Arizona’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will speak against the measure, and Maricopa County supervisor Steve Gallardo will speak in favor of it.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON: A DEBATE ON RAISING THE STATE'S MINIMUM WAGE…AND WE'LL MEET CHEF MARK TARBELL, THE NEW HOST OF "CHECK PLEASE!, ARIZONA" THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON ARIZONA HORIZON
VIDEO: ARIZONA "HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF AZ PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.
TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON, I'M TED SIMONS. FORMER VALLEY METRO CEO STEPHEN BANTA WILL RECEIVE A 180 THOUSAND DOLLAR SETTLEMENT IN EXCHANGE FOR DROPPING A LAWSUIT REGARDING UNPAID WAGES. THE AGREEMENT WILL NOT AFFECT STATE AND FEDERAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF BANTA'S SPENDING OF PUBLIC FUNDS. BANTA RESIGNED LAST NOVEMBER AMID REPORTS OF THAT HE STAYED IN EXPENSIVE HOTELS, ROUTINELY FLEW 1ST CLASS AND COLLECTED QUESTIONABLE REIMBURSEMENTS. PROPOSITION 206 WOULD RAISE ARIZONA'S MINIMUM WAGE TO 10 DOLLAR AN HOUR NEXT YEAR WITH SUBSEQUENT INCREASES TO 12 DOLLARS AN HOUR BY 2020.THE MEASURE WOULD ALSO CREATE A RIGHT TO 3 DAYS OF PAID SICK LEAVE PER YEAR. HERE NOW TO SPEAK IN FAVOR OF THE MEASURE IS MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERVISOR STEVE GALLARDO. SPEAKING IN OPPOSITION IS GLENN HAMER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE ARIZONA HAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY. GOOD TO YOU HAVE HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ONE. STEVE, SINCE YOU ARE THE PRO SIDE AND WANT TO SEE THIS DONE. WHY SHOULD ARIZONA'S MINIMUM WAGE BE INCREASED?
STEVE GALLARDO: IN 2006, I WAS THE CHAIR OF THE MINIMUM WAGE CAMPAIGN. IT WAS PASSED BY THERE VOTERS OVERWHELMING. BUT WE ALWAYS HAD THE UNDERSTANDING THAT INTO FEW YEARS WE WOULD HAVE TO COME BACK AND READDRESS IT. IT HAS BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE THE VOTERS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND NOW IS TIME. I THINK YOU SEE NOW MANY FAMILIES STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET. THEY ARE WORKING TWO JOBS JUST TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE. THIS MODEST INCREASE TO $10 COME THIS JANUARY AND GOING UP TO $12 BY 2020 IS GOOD FOR WORKING FAMILIES, THE ECONOMY AND ARIZONA. IT'S TIME FOR US TO ADDRESS IT.
TED SIMONS: WHY SHOULD WE NOT ADDRESS THIS?
GLENN HAMER: THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THE MINIMUM WAGE IS GOING UP EVERY YEAR. WE ARE AT $8.05 AND HAVE A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE THAN WHAT EXISTS ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL. THIS WILL COST JOBS FOR THOSE AT THE ENTRY LEVEL PORTION OF THEIR CAREER. TWO, THIS IS GOING TO HURT A LOT OF BUSINESSES. PARTICULARLY SMALL BUSINESSES IN RURAL ARIZONA THAT ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD WHAT STARTS AT $10 BUT QUICKLY GOES TO $12. THAT IS A 50% INCREASE. WE JUST ALSO ARE VERY CONCERNED THAT THIS IS GOING TO PUT UPWARD PRICING PRESSURE IN AND A LOT OF DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES. WE ALREADY KNOW THAT SOME PRICES WILL GO UP 10%. THE NATIONAL ECONOMY IS FRAGILE AND WE ARE CONCERNED THIS COULD PUT OUR ECONOMIC GROWTH AT RISK.
TED SIMONS: FEWER JOBS, REDUCED HIRING. HOW DO YOU RESPOND?
STEVE GALLARDO: SAME ARGUMENT IN 2006. WE WILL ELIMINATE JOBS, INCREASE COST, AND IT NEVER HAPPENED. WHAT YOU ARE SEEING IS STATES TAKING IT UPON THEMSELVES TO INCREASE THEIR OWN MINIMUM WAGE. THE FACT IS IT IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY. WE HAVE NEARLY 200 SMALL BUSINESSES THAT SIGNED UP IN SUPPORT OF THE MINIMUM WAGE. THE VAST MAJORITY OF BUSINESSES OUT THERE, ALREADY PAY ABOVE MINIMUM WAGE. THIS IS A SMALL, FEW BAD APPLES; EMPLOYERS THAT REFUSE TO WANT TO GIVE A DECENT WAGE TO THEIR EMPLOYEES.
GLENN HAMER: THAT IS AN UNFAIR CHARGE. FIRST OF ALL, THERE MAY BE EMPLOYERS AND THAT IS IMPORTANT. THAT IS GREAT. BUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF CHAMBERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE, OUR CHAMBER, GREATER PHOENIX CHAMBER, MOST OF THE CHAMBERS AND GROUPS LIKE THE RETAIL ASSOCIATION OPPOSE THIS BECAUSE OF THE DRAMATIC INCREASE. THE REAL MINIMUM WAGE IS 0 WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB. THINKING YOU CAN GO FROM 8.05 TO 10.00 IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE STATE. ON JANUARY 1, 2017 AND NOT HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON JOBS IS CRAZY.
TED SIMONS: DID THE INCREASE IN 2006 HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON JOBS IN THE STATE?
GLENN HAMER: GO TO ANY RESTAURANT IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA, OR OTHER PLACES THAT RAISED THE MINIMUM WAGE. WHAT DO YOU SEE? A LOT OF AUTOMATION. YOU HAVE THE R2D2 EXPERIENCE RIGHT NOW GOING ON. THIS REMOVES ENTRY LEVEL POSITIONS. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW SOMEONE BUSING TABLES AS A SPECIFIC OCCUPATION? I HAVE GREAT SYMPATHY, I UNDERSTAND THE SUPERVISOR IS A GOOD PERSON. WE SHARE THE DESIRE TO MAKE SURE THOSE PEOPLE WORKING HARD ARE ABLE TO RAISE A FAMILY. THERE ARE BETTER TOOLS LIKE THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT TO DO THAT THAN PUTTING THESE VERY JOBS THESE INDIVIDUALS HOLD AT RISK.
TED SIMONS: IF IN 2006 WE DIDN'T SEE THE AUTOMATION WE SEE NOW THAT AUTOMATION EQUALS FEWER JOBS TO BEGIN WITH, CAN YOU COMPARE 2006 WITH NOW?
STEVE GALLARDO: FIRST OF ALL, TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED. THE FACT IS 68%, THE LATEST POLL, 68% OF LIKELY VOTERS SUPPORT INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, AND INDEPENDENTS. ALL ACROSS THE BOARD. SUPPORT. THE IDEA FAMILIES ARE ABLE TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES AND ABLE TO PROVIDE A DECENT MEAL FOR THEIR FAMILIES. THEY ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE CLOTHING THAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR KIDS. SO THIS IS A GOOD THING FOR ARIZONA. IT IS A GOOD THING FOR WORKING FAMILIES. NEARLY 200 SMALL BUSINESSES SIGNED ON TO SAY THIS IS GOOD FOR ARIZONA. THIS IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY. I BELIEVE COME NOVEMBER YOU WILL SEE THE VOTERS ONCE AGAIN OVERWHELMING SAY WE WANT TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.
TED SIMONS: THE IDEA OF PUTTING MORE MONEY IN THE HANDS OF CUSTOMERS AND THUS ALLOWING THEM TO SPEND MORE ON ARIZONA BUSINESSES. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? DOES IT NOT RING TRUE? MORE MONEY BY WAY OF RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD GO BACK TO ARIZONA BUSINESSES.
GLENN HAMER: TED, THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS. IF YOU ARE RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE TO A POINT WHERE A BUSINESS CAN'T MAKE A PROFIT. THIS ISN'T THE GOVERNMENT. THIS ISN'T THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHERE YOU CAN PRINT MONEY. IF A BUSINESS CAN'T BALANCE ITS BOOKS WHAT HAPPENS? WHAT HAPPENS? IT GOES OUT OF BUSINESS. WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE JOBS? THEY EVAPORATE. HERE IS WHAT WE ARE SEEING ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHETHER IT IS WASHINGTON, D.C., SEATTLE OR CHICAGO. THESE PLACES THAT HAVE THESE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES WE ARE SEEING A LOSS OF JOBS. WE ARE NOT SEEING JOB CREATION. WE ARE SEEING FEWER OPPORTUNITIES AND THAT IS BAD.

TED SIMONS: FEWER OPPORTUNITIES ESPECIALLY AMONG THOSE LESS EDUCATION, LOWER SKILLED JOBS, THESE SORTS OF THINGS. YOU RAISE HAD MINIMUM WAGE, FEWER JOBS, FEWER OPPORTUNITIES.
STEVE GALLARDO: AND AGAIN, THE SAME ARGUMENT MADE IN 2006 ARE BEING MADE TODAY. IT IS NEWT TRUE. WHEN YOU ALLOW FAMILIES TO BE ABLE TO EARN A DECENT WAGE THEY ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES, THEY ARE ABLE TO GO OUT AND BE ABLE TO AFFORD THE BASIC SERVICES THAT MOST FAMILIES ARE ABLE TO GET. THESE ARE NOT ENTRY--FOR THE MOST PART, YES, ENTRY LEVEL JOBS, HOWEVER THESE ARE MOM, DADS, THAT ARE WORKING THESE JOBS, TWO OR THREE JOBS PER FAMILY TRYING TO MAKE ENDS MEET. THIS IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY. DO I THINK IT WILL ELIMINATE JOBS? NO. DO I THINK IT IS GOING TO HELP FAMILIES? YES. DO I THINK THIS WILL HELP THE ECONOMY? YES. THIS IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY
TED SIMONS: TO GLEN'S POINT IF BUSINESSES CANNOT AFFORD IT THEY WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS.
STEVE GALLARDO: WE HAVE NOT SEEN THAT IN OTHER STATES AS WELL. YOU ARE SEEING STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE. THEY ARE TAKING IT UPON THEMSELVES BECAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILS TO DO IT. THEY ARE TAKING IT UPON THEMSELVES TO TAKE CARE OF THE FAMILIES WITHIN THEIR STATES.
GLENN HAMER: AND THEY ARE DESTROYING JOBS. LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CHICAGO, SEATTLE, AND WASHINGTON, D.C. RESTAURANT JOBS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND IT IS MUCH MORE. I LIVED THERE TEN YEARS. IT IS A MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE MARKET. THAT WENT UP TO $10.50 AND THERE HAS BEEN A REDUCTION IN RESTAURANT JOBS. 50% OF MINIMUM WAGE JOBS ARE PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 25. I DON'T KNOW HOW THESE INDIVIDUALS THAT DON'T HAVE THE SKILLS WHERE A BUSINESS COULD JUSTIFY THE PRICE FOR THEIR LABOR ARE GOING TO WORK? WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO? WE ALREADY HAVE HIGH YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATES. THIS IS COMMON SENSE. THE SUPERVISOR IS CORRECT. I DON'T THINK IT IS GOING THAT MUCH UP IN THE POLLS, THE ECONOMIC CARNAGE IS ON THE HANDS OF THOSE BEHIND THIS NOT ON THOSE WHO ARE EXPLAINING THAT IF THIS BAD POLICY TAKES EFFECT.
STEVE GALLARDO: WE CONTINUE TO SEE A NUMBER OF SMALL BUSINESSES SIGN UP AND SUPPORT THE MINIMUM WAGE. WE CONTINUE TO WELCOME THEM AND CONTINUE TO HAVE THEM LEARN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IS IN THE PROPOSITION. I THINK THE NUMBER OF SMALL BUSINESSES WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IN TERMS OF SUPPORT. THIS IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY. WE ARE ALLOWING FAMILIES TO PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES. WHY SHOULD FAMILIES HAVE TO STRUGGLE EVERY PAY PERIOD TRYING TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES OR WORKING TWO JOBS NOW? LET'S INCREASE MINIMUM WAGE, ALLOW THEM TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES AND PUSH THE ECONOMY FORWARD. IT WORKED IN OTHER STATES.
TED SIMONS: THE IDEA A FULL TIME WORKER IN THIS STATE IS TOO CLOSE TO THE FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL. THOSE WHO ARE NOT WORKING FULL TIME IT IS JUST NOT ENOUGH TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE EVERY YEAR BY WAY OF INFLATION CALCULATION. IT IS JUST--I MEAN THE BOTTOM LINE: IT IS JUST NOT ENOUGH.
GLENN HAMER: TED, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE REAL MINIMUM WAGE FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T HAVE A JOB IS ZERO. WHEN THEY CANNOT GET IN THE ENTRY---ON THE JOB LADDER, WHERE DO THEY GO? I MEAN, LOOK. MOST OF US STARTED SOMEWHERE. I LIKE SAYING AND IT IS TRUE. I STARTED AS THE ASSISTANT BUN FLIPPER AT BURGER KING AND MADE A NICKEL OR DIME MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE AND WAS GROSSLY OVERPAID. I MAKE MORE THAN THAT NOW AND HAVE GREAT SYMPATHY FOR THOSE FAMILIES WORKING HARD, PLAYING BY THE RULES AND STRUGGLING. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBLE TO FIGURE OUT POLICIES SO THEY CAN LIVE WITH LIBERTY. TAKE IT TO THE BANK. SMALL BUSINESSES MRAER IN RURAL ARIZONA WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS. SOME OF THE OTHER STATES HAVE THE BRAINS IN TERMS OF PUTTING SOMETHING TOGETHER. EXCUSE ME FOR SAYING IT THAT WAY. THAT TOOK INTO ACCOUNT DIFFERENT REGIONS HAVE DIFFERENT COST OF LIVING. THAT IS NOT THE CASE IN THIS PROPOSAL. IT IS ONE SIZE FITS ALL AND ITS BAD NEWS.
STEVE GALLARDO: WHAT WHY ARE ASKING VOTERS TO VOTE ON IS TO ALLOW THESE WORKERS THAT ARE MAKING $8.05 AN HOUR, THAT ARE FLIPPING BURGERS, WE ARE ASKING THEM TO BE ABLE TO ALLOW THESE WORKERS TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD THE SAME BURGERS THEY ARE FLIPPING. 8.05 IS NOT ENOUGH TO RAISE A FAMILY. THAT IS WHAT YOU SEE RIGHT NOW THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF ARIZONA. THIS IS A MODEST INCREASE TO $10 COME JANUARY. AND THEN OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS OR THREE YEARS IT IS GOING TO INCREASE DRAMATICALLY OR NOT DRAMATICALLY BUT SMALL. BUT ITS GOOD.
GLENN HAMER: I WOULD AGREE WITH DRAMATICALLY. PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTED TO TAKE IT TO $10.10 AND BERNIE SANDERS CAME ALONG AND YOU SEE A LEFTWARD DRIFT ON THIS. NOW $15 IS THE NEW $10. WE KNOW ALSO THERE WILL BE A $15 PROPOSAL IN FLAGSTAFF. WHERE DOES THIS END? I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOSE THEIR JOBS. SMALL BUSINESSES PARTICULARLY IN RURAL ARIZONA ARE GOING TO BE HARMED. FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS, HERE IS THE ICING ON THE CAKE FOR THEM. THEY ARE GOING TO GET THIS PAY MAYBE 10% OR MORE FOR CERTAIN PRODUCTS LIKE FOOD BECAUSE OF THIS POLICY. WE THINK THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE AND THAT IS GOING TO BE OUR CAMPAIGN.
TED SIMONS: THE IDEA, CRITICS ARE SAYING THAT THIS WHOLE THING IS AN ELECTION YEAR GIMMICK. IT IS A GET OUT THE VOTE GIMMICK FOR THE DEMOCRATS AND FOR THE LEFT.
STEVE GALLARDO: THIS IS THE PRESIDENTIAL YEAR. EVERYONE IS COMING OUT TO VOTE. WE DON'T NEED GIMMICKS. YOU WILL SEE SKYROCKETED VOTING. THE FACT IS THAT FAMILIES ARE STRUGGLING EVERY DAY AND $8.05 IS NOT ENOUGH TO SUPPORT A FAMILY. WE NEED TO A LOW FAMILIES TO EARN A DECENT WAGE AND PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES. A MODEST INCREASE, SMALL BUSINESSES ARE JUMPING ONBOARD SUPPORTING IT. POLLS SHOW IT LEFT AND RIGHT FOR SUPPORT TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE.
TED SIMONS: YOU'LL RESPOND TO THAT?
GLENN HAMER: I WILL RESPOND. HE IS RIGHT THE POLLS HAVE IT UP BUT WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO CHANGE THAT. THIS IS BAD ECONOMIC POLICY. THERE IS NO WAY WE DON'T LIVE IN FANTASY LAND. YOU CAN'T TAKE MINIMUM WAGE AND SAY WE WILL JACK IT UP AND NOT EXPECT THERE ARE NOT GOING TO BE CONSEQUENCES. WE KNOW THERE ARE GOING TO BE CONSEQUENCES. IT IS ACCURATE. THERE HAVE BEEN A SPADE OF LOCALITIES AND STATES RAISING THEIR MINIMUM WAGE AND WHAT IS COMING BACK IS VERY NEGATIVE IN TERMS OF JOB CREATION AND SMALL BUSINESS SURVIVOR. IN 2006, WE HAD THIS SIMILAR DEBATE AND SIMILAR ARGUMENTS WERE MADE. THAT WE WERE GOING TO KILL JOBS, WE WERE GOING TO INCREASE PRICES OF SERVICES. NEVER HAPPENED. DIDN'T HAPPEN IN 2006 AND WON'T IN 2016.
TED SIMONS: I HAVE TO STOP THIS DEBATE BECAUSE WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME BUT GOOD STUFF AND GOOD HAVING YOU BOTH HERE.
STEVE GALLARDO: THANK YOU.

Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Steve Gallardo, Maricopa County supervisor

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