Growth in worker wages spurs consumer spending & a healthier economy
(Mar 11) – The House gave final approval to a bill sponsored by Rep. Rochelle Galindo, D-Greeley, and Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, to provide local governments the option to raise the minimum wage within their jurisdictions.
“We are giving the power to set the local minimum wage to our municipalities and counties,” said Rep. Galindo. “Our state is so diverse and what works for Denver is not necessarily going to work for Greeley or Trinidad. The Local Wage Option is a tool that can help Colorado’s workers and communities thrive.”
HB19-1210 would allow local governments to adjust their minimum wage up to more effectively address the local cost of living, rather than have to adhere to a statewide standard in a state where local real estate markets and health care costs vary dramatically.
“Colorado is a very big, diverse state and economic situations can be very different in different areas of the state. One size does not fit all when it comes to addressing the needs of every Coloradan,” said Rep. Melton. “This is really about allowing local communities to decide what is best for them.”
The bill would allow counties and cities to increase the minimum wage in their localities beyond the state minimum wage, currently set at $11.10 an hour.
Research shows that wage growth spurs consumer spending and a healthier economy and that concerns of potential negative impacts to businesses or jobs are not borne out in the data on this issue.
Denver City Mayor Michael Hancock and Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson testified in support of this bill at a House hearing this month.
The bill passed the House on a vote of 40-24. It now heads to the Senate.
A similar bill passed the House last session but it was blocked by Republicans who were in control of the chamber.