The ripple effect of Arizona’s minimum wage raise

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In November, Arizona voters approved a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage by nearly $4 over the course of several years, a decision that is receiving mixed reviews as time goes on.

Prop 206 outlined a gradual minimum wage raise from $8.05 in 2016 to $12 in 2020, with the largest jump of nearly $2 to begin January 2017.

“When they first increased minimum wage I thought, ‘great, about time,'” Original Breakfast House owner John Stidham said. Stidham’s employees already made more than minimum wage before the mandated wage increase, because, says Stidham, “if you don’t take care of your people, in my opinion, you don’t really deserve to stay in business.”

Troy Bales, Superintendent of Human Resources for Paradise Valley Unified School District, has a different opinion. “I think when people vote, they sometimes don’t know all the unintended consequences,” said Bales.

Approximately 600 employees in the school district receive a pay increase as a result of the minimum wage raise, a change that, according to Bales, makes financial matters for an underfunded school district even more complex.

This report on the minimum wage increase is part of an ongoing series called Chasing the Dream, a national look at poverty and opportunity in America.

John Stidham: Owner, Original Breakfast House
Troy Bales: Superintendent of Human Resources, Paradise Valley Unified School District

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