Amendment 42 sparks debate
One of the questions that will be answered in the upcoming November election is whether or not the minimum wage in Colorado should be increased.
Currently, Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution sets the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, with a lowered wage of $2.13 per hour for those who regularly receive tips. Amendment 42, if passed, would raise the minimum wage to $6.85 and increase the wages of those who receive tips to $3.83 per hour.
“I am against this amendment,” said Jessica Langfeldt, vice chairman of the CU College Republicans.
Amy Hogue, president of the CU College Democrats, said she supports the measure.
Langfeldt, a senior political science and economics major, said it is a bad idea economically to raise the minimum wage.
“If you raise the wage, the producer has to increase the price of goods,” she said.
However, Hogue, a junior Spanish and communication major, said that the price of goods is going up regardless.
According to a statement on minimum wage by the College Republican National Committee, “the market naturally pushes wages upward without the constant interference of law.”
“The cost of living increase rises while the minimum wage is staying the same,” said Hogue. “That is just not acceptable.”
The Colorado election Blue Book, the document published by the legislature to explain ballot issues in the upcoming election, indicates that 3/4 of those who work for minimum wage work in service jobs, mostly in food preparation and serving.
It has been nine years since the federal government has raised the minimum wage. Since that time 23 states and the District of Columbia have increased the minimum wage greater than the standard set of $5.15 per hour. Washington state has the highest wage at $7.63 per hour, and the state adjusts for inflation each year.
If Amendment 42 passes, the Blue Book said that it would cost the state approximately $2.8 million annually to pay the difference in student work-study salaries.
Currently, students employed in work-study positions at state universities and colleges are paid less than $6.85 per hour. One possibility is that schools may have to increase fees or tuition or reduce the number of work-study hours available to students.
Information on Amendment 42 “Blue Book” can be found at:
- Campus Voices
- Campus Voices
- Ballot issues debated at town hall meeting