AZ Supreme Court to decide fate of minimum wage increase

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The Arizona Supreme Court will soon decide whether the state's minimum wage increase should be thrown out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Arizona Supreme Court will soon decide whether the state's minimum wage increase should be thrown out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Supporters of Prop. 206 gather in front of AZ Supreme Court. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Supporters of Prop. 206 gather in front of AZ Supreme Court. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Supporters of Prop. 206 said the court should follow the will of the people. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Supporters of Prop. 206 said the court should follow the will of the people. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The pay raise that thousands of Arizonans received to start the new year now hangs in the balance.

The Arizona Supreme Court will soon decide whether the state's minimum wage increase should be thrown out.

Arizona's minimum wage went up from $8.05 an hour to $10 per hour, after voters approved Prop. 206 back in November.

On Thursday, supporters of Prop. 206 gathered in front of the Arizona Supreme Court to send a message to justices to uphold the will of the voters.

Inside the courtroom, the seven justices heard arguments on whether Prop. 206 is unconstitutional and should be thrown out.

[RELATED: Thousands of AZ minimum wage workers worry they will lose their pay raises]

"I think we presented a very strong case," said Tim LaSota, one of the attorneys pushing to overturn Prop. 206. "At the end of the day, this is a massive ticket item that was ordered up by proponents of Prop. 206, and they have provided nothing on how to pay for it."

 Attorneys for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and other business groups claim that Prop. 206 is unconstitutional because it doesn't provide a funding source for increased costs the state will incur.

 Prop. 206 lawyers disagree, claiming that state funding for the disabled and health care low-income families is not a mandatory expense.

"The judges did their best to try and understand this argument, that these expenditures are somehow mandatory expenditures," said Prop. 206 attorney Jim Barton. "It seems obvious to me they are not and didn't seem judges were buying that argument."

Tomas Robles headed up the Prop. 206 campaign.

He said if the Arizona Supreme Court overturns the minimum wage hike, it would send the wrong message.

[RELATED: Minimum wage initiative could provide raises for 700,000 Arizonans (Oct. 17, 2016)]

"It'll show that Arizona does not only not care about families. Arizona does not care about voters or their rights as a democracy," said Robles.

The Arizona Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling in the case later this month.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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