YUMA, Ariz. - An Arizona Senate committee approved a proposal that would ask voters to repeal a minimum wage initiative that was passed back in 2016.
More than a dozen Republican lawmakers are questioning the minimum wage increase included in Proposition 206. Lawmakers hope to freeze the current minimum wage at $10.50 an hour. They also want to repeal the mandatory sick leave that was included in the law, which was passed by Arizona voters.
The 2016 ballot measure raised the minimum wage from $8.00 to $10.00 in 2017, with a projected plan for minimum wage to reach $12.00 an hour by the year 2020.
Businesses said the wage and sick time in Prop 206 made it harder to find workers and increased prices for consumers.
A local coffeehouse in Yuma we spoke to said that they've had to increase their prices due to the wage increase.
Yuma residents had mixed reactions when it came to the freeze. They said they want people to have a living wage, but are concerned about the effects on local businesses.
“I can only imagine what it would be like to have bills. I don’t think it would give somebody the opportunity to live life in peace without living paycheck to paycheck,” Adrik Vargas, an AWC Freshman, said.
"The income I was receiving, I was working a good 40 hours each week, full-time and even then that wasn't enough," Eyreth Reyes, an AWC Junior, added.
“I think the freeze is a good idea for now until a better solution can be found… it’s tough for local businesses,” Rebekkha Gill added.
Residents saw an increase in prices when the minimum wage went up.
"Usually when they raise minimum wage, they also raise the price of everything else, like rent, and bills, and food. It's not helping to give more money but then make things more expensive," Bryca Pacheco, Yuma resident, said.
The measure in 2016 passed with 59 percent of the vote.
For the new measure, the bill moves to the State Senate, then to the House. If approved, it will appear on the November ballot this fall.