Arizonans at the bottom of the wage scale will be getting a raise.
The state Industrial Commission voted Thursday to require employers to pay workers at least $7.65 an hour, beginning next year. That is a 30-cent-an-hour hike over the current figure.
It also means that the state minimum wage will be 40 cents higher than what is required under federal law.
Commissioners have that power — in fact, that requirement — because of a 2006 voter-approved initiative that created Arizona’s first ever minimum wage. Before that, employers in the state were covered under the federal law, which, at the time, allowed workers to be paid as little as $5.15 an hour.
That 2006 law also requires the commission to provide annual cost of living increases, computed according to the Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor.