Minimum Wage In Colorado Before Amendment 70
Colorado's minimum wage is $8.31 per hour in 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
Prior to Amendment 70 in 2016, Colorado voters saw the minimum wage topic on the statewide ballot once. Initiative 42 in 2006 increased the minimum wage to $6.85 per hour and provided for it to be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. The amendment also prohibited more than $3.02 per hour in tip income from being used to offset that minimum wage
In 2006, Colorado voters adopted an amendment to the state constitution that raised the minimum wage to $6.85 per hour on January 1, 2007, and required that the minimum wage be adjusted each year up or down for changes in inflation, as measured by the Colorado consumer price index (CPI). The CPI is a common measure for changes in the prices of goods and services, such as food, housing, gasoline, and medical care. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment sets the state's minimum wage each January. It is currently set at $8.31 per hour for most workers. Colorado law does not allow cities to set a higher minimum wage than the state.
The 2006 amendment also set the minimum wage for tipped workers at $3.02 less than the state minimum wage. The minimum wage for tipped workers is currently $5.29 per hour plus tips. Some tipped workers, such as servers and bartenders, may earn enough in tips to bring their hourly earnings above the state minimum wage, while some may not earn enough in tips to reach it. When tipped workers do not earn enough, employers must supplement their wages to ensure that they receive at least the state minimum wage
What is Changing With Amendment 70
Amendment 70 increases the state minimum wage to $9.30 per hour on January 1, 2017, after which it increases annually by $0.90 per hour until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2020. Because the minimum wage for tipped workers remains at $3.02 less than the state minimum wage, Amendment 70 increases the tipped minimum wage to $8.98 per hour plus tips by 2020. Beginning in 2021, the minimum wage is adjusted annually for increases in the CPI. Although Amendment 70 and current law both use the CPI to adjust the minimum wage, Amendment 70 prevents a decrease in the minimum wage if the cost of living falls