Policy Resource

Voters Approve State Minimum Wage Increases and Paid Sick Leave

Dec 1, 2016

Voters in four states – Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington – passed ballot initiatives this month to increase the minimum wage.

All four states – Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington – will gradually increase the minimum wage over the next few years, reaching $12.00 an hour in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine and $13.50 an hour in Washington in 2020. After 2020, the minimum wages will be tied to inflation. Voters in South Dakota also voted on a minimum wage ballot initiative, overwhelmingly rejecting a proposal that would have decreased the minimum wage for workers under age 18 from $8.50 to $7.50 an hour. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have rates higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. In addition to boosting the minimum wage, the ballot initiatives in Arizona and Washington also require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees to care for themselves or family members. They join five other states (Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont), the District of Columbia, and many cities and counties that have already passed such mandates.

Explore More Arizona Focused Resources & Initiatives

  • Article

    Arizona First Things First

    Learn about First Things First, a program created in 2006 when voters passed a ballot initiative setting aside 80 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold in order to fund the expansion of health and …

  • Article

    Arizona Kith & Kin Project

    The Association for Supportive Child Care developed the Arizona Kith & Kin Project in 1999 to strengthen the quality of friends and family ("kith and kin") child care providers.

  • Article

    Arizona's Enhanced Rate for Accredited Programs

    Enhanced rates for accredited programs assist with the costs associated in meeting higher standards such as implementing developmentally appropriate practices, providing lower staff/child ratios, and…

  • Article

    Quality First, Arizona's Quality Rating and Improvement System

    In June 2011, Arizona rolled out its quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), Quality First, as part of its commitment to an interconnected early learning system.