Colorado Businesses Once Again Face Minimum Wage Battle

Date: March 15, 2016 Last Edit: March 16, 2016

New group hopes to put constitutional amendments on ballot.

Colorado Businesses Once Again Face Minimum Wage Battle

Just last year, business owners in Colorado had to battle over minimum wage, and now they may be forced back in the ring.

A new group called Colorado Families for a Fair Wage filed two proposed constitutional amendments that would raise the minimum wage to $12 over the next four years.

While both of these amendments would require about 100,000 signatures to get on the statewide ballot, the renewed push for a higher minimum wage has some small business owners worried.

“A hike in the minimum wage would harm those businesses still recovering from the slowdown in Colorado’s economy,” Colorado NFIB State Director Tony Gagliardi said last year after two bills were proposed to hike the minimum wage. “Some would have to decrease employment rather than expand employment.”

Both new amendments would raise the state minimum wage from the current $8.31 per hour to $9.30 in 2017, and then increase it an additional 90 cents per year. While supporters of the minimum wage hike believe it will help to spur the economy by giving employees more disposable income, business owners say a higher minimum wage could mean job cuts and reduced hours.

“Raising the minimum wage disproportionately hurts small businesses and their employees, directly impacting operating costs, increasing obstacles to hiring and encouraging businesses to use less labor, not more. This policy is a blunt tool that kills jobs, while failing to achieve the goal of alleviating poverty,” Gagliardi said last year.

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