A Rocky Mountain News Point/Counterpoint stating that in a nation that values hard work and self-reliance, no one should have to work full-time for wages that leave a family in poverty. As a simple matter of fairness - and to strengthen families and encourage work - it is time to raise Colorado's minimum wage.
A Boulder Daily Camera commentary summarizing the findings of the Bell Policy Center's "Opportunity Lost" report, which found: Coloradans work hard, but too many working folks struggle to get by; education and skills are the best predictors of whether hard work pays off; and Colorado does not invest enough in services that help adults improve their job skills.
Colorado should raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to at least $6.85 an hour, and we should adjust the minimum wage to inflation every year thereafter. This will increase the incomes of the lowest-paid workers by $1.70 an hour, or $3,500 per year, and help them keep up with the rising costs of necessities such as food, health care, gas and housing.
If Colorado voters pass Amendment 42, which will increase the state's minimum wage, about 7 percent of the state's workers will get a raise. A new issue brief from the Bell Policy Center, "Raising Colorado's minimum wage: Who benefits?" confirms that most of these workers are adults, and many are the sole income earners in their household with kids to support.