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Challenging the Constitutionality of the State Minimum Wage Increase

Chamber of Commerce v. Kiley

Case Status

Date Filed

July 16, 2017

Last Step

Filed friend of the court brief in the Arizona Supreme Court

Next Step

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled August 2nd, 2017 that the minimum wage increase was constitutional

This case challenges the constitutionality of the increase in the state minimum wage. Among other things, that increase forces taxpayers to bear the burden of paying state contractors more for public services.

Case Overview

This case challenges the constitutionality of the increase in the state minimum wage.  Among other things, that increase forces taxpayers to bear the burden of paying state contractors more for public services.  Yet the Arizona Constitution requires that any time an initiative increases mandatory state spending, that initiative must say where the money will come from.  That requirement was added by Prop. 101 in 2004 to protect taxpayers from having their pocketbooks raided at the ballot box. The minimum wage increase is now being challenged by a coalition of taxpayers and business owners, and the Goldwater Institute is joining the fight.

Minimum wage increases are a terrible idea, that most hurt the people they’re supposed to help.  Minimum wages are essentially a tax on businesses that offer entry-level jobs.  They essentially declare that it is better for people to have no job at all than to have a job that pays less than (in this case) $12 per hour.  But it should be up to employees and employers to decide for themselves how much wages ought to be.  Taking that decision away from working people doesn’t help them.

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