By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral
What would you buy with an extra $6 a week?Two gallons of milk? A Big Mac Meal?An overpriced venti half-caf, sugar-free latte?
That’s how much more those at the bottom of the pay scale will be making come Jan. 1 when the minimum wage in Arizona rises 15 cents an hour to $12.15.
Arizona voters mandated in 2006 that the state have its own minimum wage not tied to the federal figure. That set the bottom of the pay scale here at $6.75 an hour, $1.60 higher than what federal law mandated at the time.
Plus there were inflation adjustments.
A decade later, voters decided to turbocharge the raises, imposing a $10 minimum with automatic increases up to $12 as of 2020.
Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour.
With the last of the pre-approved boosts now done, that puts Arizona back into the inflation-adjusted annual increases.
The state Industrial Commission figures that the Consumer Price Index, measured in August as required by law, is 1.3 percent higher than a year earlier. Add that to the current $12 figure, round to the nearest nickel and you come up with $12.15.
How many Arizonans that might affect remains unclear.