Last updated 9:34PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Some Four Corners states see wage increase
(2007-01-04)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Thanks to a higher minimum wage, the wallets of some working families in two of the Four Corner States be a little bit thicker this week.

But, as KSUT's Joan Zwisler reports, the wage stays the same in the region's two other states.


JOAN: More than 145-thousand Arizonans are starting off the New Year off with a raise in their salary.

The state's new minimum wage took effect on the first.

It creates a state minimum wage of six dollars and 75 cents an hour.

That's up from the federal rate of five dollars and 15 cents an hour.

Tip earners such as waiters, fast-food workers, and manicurists are also likely to get raises under the new law, as well as movie theater staffers, child-care workers, crossing guards, other entry-level workers in a wide range of jobs.
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Here in Colorado, workers got a bump of a dollar-seventy starting this week.

That makes minimum wage six dollars and eighty-five cents per hour in Colorado.

It's indexed to rise with inflation by a few cents every January.
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Bill Vandenberg is with the Colorado Progressive Coalition.

He said 73,000 minimum-wage earners in Colorado received the immediate raise on Monday.

He calls that a good start.

VANDENBERG: We believe there's certainly a long way to go to afford housing and health care and child-care and transportation and rent and all those things as well.
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In New Mexico, only Albuquerque's minimum wage increased Monday, and if Gov. Bill Richardson has his way, a statewide wage increase won't be far behind.

This reported in the Albuquerque Journal.

The New Mexico State Legislature rejected proposals to raise the state's minimum wage last year, mainly because senators representing southern districts said local food-processing companies would move operations to Texas or Mexico if wages rose too high too fast.

But the governor's spokesman said last week that the governor wants the statewide minimum wage at $7.50 per hour in two years.

He said Richardson will work with rural legislators to do so.
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No wage raise in Utah this year, although politicians, activists, business owners and advocates are talking about what the potential impacts would be.

So far, they have not reached a consensus.

Mark Knold is senior economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

He tells the Deseret Morning News now's the time to consider raising the wage in Utah.

He said the unofficial minimum wage is already well above $5.15 and he said with the tight labor market, an official raise would probably have a minimal effect.

At the federal level, the Democrat-led Congress is promising to take action on the minimum wage within 100 hours of convening today.

President Bush also identified the minimum wage as a priority, but he said any increase in the federal minimum wage should be paired with tax adjustments to protect small businesses.


From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Joan Zwisler.

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