COLORADO SPRINGS – Counties and cities in Colorado could soon set their own minimum wage if lawmakers approve a new bill.
Proponents say it could help cities keep up with their specific cost of living issues, but opponents say it could kill jobs.
“I would not be in favor of Colorado Springs setting a minimum wage different from the state minimum wage.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers is talking about HB19-1210, something he doesn’t recommend for the Olympic City.
“The city itself likes to hire seasonal workers in the parks department during the summer. Our ability to do so is totally dependent on the minimum wage.”
Jobs like these provide opportunities for young people.
“You get up above the state minimum wage much it becomes problematic for us to hire those young people.”
The mayor also believes that some small businesses wouldn’t be able to keep up, but Yolanda Avila, a member of Colorado Springs City Council, disagrees.
“When everyone’s making more money then they’re shopping more.”
Beyond that, she believes Colorado Springs is becoming a more costly place to live.
“We’re still not up there with Denver, however, it’s becoming more expensive in terms of housing.”
For a lot of people, the current $11.10 minimum wage just isn’t cutting it anymore.
“I think it’s important that we keep them up so that they can pay their rent, so they can shop.”
If the bill gets passed Avila says she doesn’t know if she would make a case for it in city council, but she does support it.
“I think what’s important is that we have an option.”
The bill passed through the House. On Monday it will be in a Senate committee hearing.