Editorial: Unintended consequences of Proposition 206

November 23, 2016
White Mountain Independent

Businesses across Arizona are bracing themselves after the passage of Proposition 206, which will successively raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2017.

One category of business that is expected to be dramatically affected by the measure are organization that provide services to developmentally disabled individuals.

To make matters worse, the state has cut funding for these organizations successively since the Great Recession and are estimated to be funding them at levels as low as 26 percent below benchmarks. 

There are roughly 35,000 developmentally disabled individuals and 700 providers in this category in Arizona.

One is Meadows Catalina, located in Lakeside, is one of them.

Meadows teaches social and employment skills to more than 100 disabled adults between its Lakeside and Tucson offices. 

As outlined in today’s Independent, Meadows predicts the passage of Prop. 206 will cost them $400,000 in incremental expense by 2017. Due to restrictions on the nature of the business, Meadows isn’t able to make cuts, like businesses in other industries will likely have to do.

And Meadows is worried they might have to close its doors.

The Legislature has the ability to provide additional funding for this vital industry when it convenes early this year. 

Hopefully, members see that funding for these organizations contributes significantly to helping the some of the state’s most vulnerable.


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