Growth in worker wages spurs consumer spending & a healthier economy
(Feb. 25) – Today, Rep. Rochelle Galindo, D-Greeley, and Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, were joined by county commissioners, workers and business owners to unveil new legislation to provide local governments the option to raise the minimum wage within their jurisdictions. The Senate sponsors of the bill are Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City and Sen. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge.
“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 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.
“This really is a simple concept. Colorado is a very diverse state with a lot of diverse local economies and one size does not fit all,” said Rep. Melton. “It’s important that we address that state dynamic by giving more of a say to our local communities to determine what best fits their needs, and what best helps their communities and their families.”
The bill would allow counties and cities to increase the minimum wage in their localities beyond the state minimum wage, currently at $11.10 an hour.
“Colorado has a rich history of local control, and this legislation carries that tradition forward,” said Kevin Bommer, Deputy Director of the Colorado Municipal League, which has endorsed the bill. “Municipal leaders will have the ability to determine, along with businesses and citizens in the community, whether or not to increase their local minimum wage.”
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.
The bill was introduced today in the House. The bill text can be found here. It will now await a hearing in the Transportation & Local Government committee.