PHOENIX – Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans appear destined to get a wage increase come January.
Preliminary results show Proposition 206 being approved on a margin of close to 3-2. The outcome was essentially preordained, with the business community mounting only token opposition.
Proponents, by contrast, collected close to $4.3 million. In fact, they had so much money – and so little opposition.
In Yavapai County, the proposition garnered 56-to-44-percent approval (38,208 to 29,972).
Proposition 206 is an outgrowth of a 2006 voter-approved law that established Arizona's first-ever minimum wage, setting it at $6.75 an hour when federal law allowed companies to pay just $5.15. The 2006 law also requires annual inflation adjustments which have pushed the minimum now to $8.05 an hour; it would have gone up another dime automatically in January.
The initiative instead proposed a January increase to $10 an hour, rising eventually to $12 by 2020. It also mandates something not in the original measure: at least three paid days off a year.
Opponents raised less than $40,000, with three-fourths of that from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Chamber spokesman Garrick Taylor said it was "not a mistake'' to essentially give the pro-206 campaign a free pass.