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Increase CO's Minimum Wage (Amendment 70)

Oct 4, 2016

Results - Passed! (Denver Post)

Yes 54.6% (1,381,245 votes)

No 45.3% (1,147,634 votes)

If Amendment 70 passes, Colorado's hourly minimum wage would increase annually by $0.90 from $8.31 to $12 per hour by 2020 as follows:

  • 2017: $9.30
  • 2018: $10.20
  • 2019: $11.10
  • 2020: $12.00
  • 2021 on: Adjusted annually for inflation rate increases (but not decreases)

Blue Book Summary

Background Information

In 2006, Colorado voters adopted Amendment 42, which increased the minimum wage to $6.85 per hour ($3.02 less for employees who receive tips). 42 required that the minimum wage be adjusted each year for changes in the inflation rate. Colorado law does not allow cities to set a higher minimum wage than the state.

Currently, the minimum wage is $8.31 per hour for most workers and $5.29 per hour for workers who receive tips. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for most workers and $2.13 per hour for workers who receive tips.

Colorado Nonprofit Association's Position

Throughout the state, the costs of basic needs such as healthcare and housing are growing much faster than Coloradans’ income. Colorado’s minimum wage has not keep pace with these rising costs and many working families are falling further behind. 

We support Amendment 70 because it helps 420,000 working Coloradans become more self-sufficient. By raising the hourly minimum wage to $12 and increasing their income, we expect this to reduce their demand for nonprofits’ services to meet their basic needs. 

Amendment 70 would also help nonprofit employees who make less than $12 an hour currently. Improving employees' standard of living will increase employee retention and reduce costs associated with turnover and with hiring new employees. 

Although this may require additional fundraising by some nonprofit organizations, Colorado Nonprofit Association will continue to advocate for increasing generosity among Colorado’s donors and for full funding of government contracted services delivered by nonprofits.

Despite concerns that a higher minimum wage would result in job loss in our state, Colorado actually gained over 70,000 jobs over the two years following the passage of Amendment 42, according to a review by the Bell Policy Center and Colorado Fiscal Institute. For these reasons, we believe Amendment 70 will strengthen communities throughout Colorado and the nonprofits that serve them.