Minimum wage set to rise in 19 states

Minimum wage set to rise in 19 states
© Getty Images
 
The lowest-paid workers are set to get a salary increase in 19 states and nearly two dozen cities across the country in the new year.
 
Voters in four states — Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington — voted to raise the minimum wage in November. 
 
Arizona's minimum wage will rise by nearly two dollars, from $8.05 an hour to $10 an hour beginning in 2017, growing progressively to $12 an hour by 2020. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The minimum wages in Colorado and Maine will grow by smaller margins, but will wind up at $12 an hour by 2020 as well.
 
Washington State voters passed Initiative 1433, which will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020. Washington is home to SeaTac, the first city in America to raise its lowest wage to $15 an hour, though that rate only applies to workers at Seattle's airport.
 
Workers in California and New York are also getting pay bumps as part of their own incremental increases. California's lowest wage will hit $15 an hour by 2020.
 
Seven states — Alaska, Missouri, Florida, Ohio, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey — are raising minimum wages by tiny margins of ten cents and hour or less. Those states have indexed the minimum wage to inflation, or to the Consumer Price Index, meaning workers get annual — though usually pretty small — raises.
 
Workers in Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Vermont will also get pay raises beginning the first of the year. Two more states, Maryland and Oregon, will see minimum wages increase by July.
 
Voters in the District of Columbia also approved a wage increase for the lowest-paid workers, to $10.10 an hour.
 
About two dozen cities also voted, either through city councils or in voter referenda, to hike the minimum wage. Seattle workers will make at least $15 an hour beginning in January, while those who work at the airport in SeaTac will make $15.35 an hour.
 
Workers in New York City will ring in the new year at $11 an hour. The Portland, Maine, minimum wage will rise to $10.68 per hour. And thirteen cities in California will see boosted minimum wages, from $13 an hour in Mountain View and Sunnyvale to $10.50 an hour in San Jose and Sacramento.
 
Groups that support raising the minimum wage, like labor unions and the Fairness Project, have had more success in recent years hiking pay through ballot measures than they have through legislatures and city councils. No minimum wage increase has lost at the ballot box for about a decade.
 
Voters in several other states will have the chance to boost their lowest wages in coming years. Supporters are collecting signatures to force wage hikes onto the ballot in Florida, Missouri and New Jersey over the next two years, while Texas voters are likely to have the chance to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by amending the state constitution in 2017.