LWV/Boulder County, Colorado Studies Living Wage and Economic Inequality

Submitted by Deborah Hayes, Social Policy Committee Chair, LWV of Boulder County, Colorado

In November 2014, our committee presented the results of our study of minimum/living wage and state vs. local jurisdiction. Based on member consensus, the board approved our new Boulder County LWV position on WAGES under Social Policy.

Currently Colorado law prohibits local jurisdictions from setting their own minimum wage except for their own employees.

The state minimum wage, a constitutional provision, is indexed annually to cost of living. Colorado minimum wage in 2015 is $8.23 for non-tipped employees, $5.21 for tipped employees.

The city of Boulder (only one of many municipalities in our LWV”s county) has a “living wage” policy, which sets the minimum wage for full-time city employees at $11.68 per hour. (Part-time minimum wage is $8.23, the state figure.)

We began the study out of our concern that the LWVUS positions under Meeting Basic Human Needs support government assistance but seldom mention income and are silent on wages.