Lawmaker proposing to cap minimum wage

Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

If some state lawmakers get their way, workers on the lowest end of the pay scale will not see the pay raises they were promised. 

State Sen. Sylvia Allen is pushing a bill that would ask voters to freeze the minimum wage where stands now at $10.50 an hour. 

[RELATED: Arizona hikes minimum wage by 50 cents (Jan. 1, 2018)]

Allen's proposal comes less than two years after voters easily approved hiking the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

The Republican from Snowflake says small rural businesses are being hurt because they can't afford to pay their workers the extra money. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

"I'm not a champion of the wealthy, the corporations. I'm a champion of people being able to keep their money... so that's why I'm supporting these small businesses who really want to stay on businesses who are providing jobs in rural Arizona," Allen said. 

Since voters increased the minimum wage in November 2016, the unemployment rate in Arizona has dropped to 4.5 percent from 6 percent. 

The bill passed committee and still needs to pass the full Senate before heading over to the House for approval. 

Supporters of the voter-approved minimum wage law rallied at the state Capitol last week to block attempts by lawmakers to kill future pay increases for Arizona's lowest-paid workers.

[READ MORE: Minimum wage supporters rally at Arizona Capitol]

[READ MORE: Senate panel votes to freeze minimum wage hikes]

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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