By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
The state Court of Appeals has slapped down efforts by Republican lawmakers to block local governments from mandating that private employers provide workers with even more fringe benefits than required by state law.
In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the judges said it was clear that when voters adopted the state’s first wage law in 2006 they wanted to give local governments the power to go above and beyond the bare minimums in that initiative. And they said that includes not just wages – now $11 an hour – but also any requirement for benefits, whether that’s time off or even health insurance.
Tuesday’s ruling is a setback for the Arizona Restaurant Association and its Republican allies in the state Legislature who approved the law the appellate judges found illegal. Association lobbyists, unable to block the minimum wage law in the first place, sought to at least trim the ability of cities and counties to impose even more requirements on them.