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Colorado voters approve $12 minimum wage hike by 2020

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Posted at 10:07 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 00:07:46-05

DENVER – Colorado voters on Tuesday approved a proposed amendment that will increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

The measure, Amendment 70, had 55 percent support with 64 percent of Colorado reporting as of 10 p.m.

Amendment 70 would change the state constitution to increase the statewide minimum wage to $9.30 per hour starting Jan. 1, then raise it every year by $0.90 per hour until it reaches $12 an hour by Jan. 1, 2020.

State law mandates tipped workers make $3.02 less than the state minimum wage, and by 2020, the tipped worker minimum wage would rise to $8.98 per hour.

Currently, the Colorado minimum wage is set at $8.31 per hour for most workers and $5.29 per hour for tipped workers.

Voters approved a $6.85 per hour minimum wage in 2006 that included a provision that it be adjusted yearly in comparison to movement in the state’s consumer price index (CPI) – which measures the changes in prices of the statewide prices of goods and services each year.

The wage was increased to $6.85 per hour from $5.15 per hour. It has since gone up every year, except for in 2010, when it dropped by 4 cents an hour.

The current federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped workers and $2.13 per hour for tipped workers.

State law forbids cities from setting a higher minimum wage than the state’s.

Starting in 2021, the minimum wage would again be tied back to the CPI, though Amendment 70 would change the constitution to prevent a decrease in the minimum wage if the cost of living falls.

WHAT AMENDMENT 70 DOES FOR NON-TIPPED WORKERS

For non-tipped workers, who comprise most of Colorado’s workforce, the minimum wage will rise incrementally over the next three-plus years:

  • 2016: $8.31 per hour
  • 2017: $9.30 per hour
  • 2018: $10.20 per hour
  • 2019: $11.10 per hour
  • 2020: $12 per hour

Under current rules, a recent economic forecast projects the minimum wage to be around $9.18 per hour in 2020 if the amendment is not approved.

WHAT AMENDMENT 70 DOES FOR TIPPED WORKERS

For tipped workers, the rules get a little more complicated. Tipped wages will remain at $3.02 less than the wage for tipped workers, which put the wage at the following stages as it increases each year:

  • 2016: $5.29 per hour
  • 2017: $6.28 per hour
  • 2018: $7.18 per hour
  • 2019: $8.08 per hour
  • 2020: $8.98 per hour

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