DENVER, CO — Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Councilwoman Robin Kniech have submitted their proposal to raise Denver’s citywide minimum wage to city council for approval. The proposal was revised during townhalls and meetings with stakeholders, organizations, community leaders and residents, the city said.
The minimum wage increase would boost the paychecks of more than 90,000 people who work in Denver, the city said. Employers would be offered three incremental steps to transition to $15.87 per hour.
“One of our most important values is not just creating an economy where businesses can succeed, but where people can succeed – an economy that works for everyone, where everyone has access to a home, a job and a future,” Hancock said in a statement. “Increasing people’s wages, so they can afford to live in Denver and continue contributing to and benefiting from Denver’s success, is what this proposal is all about. I’m thankful to everyone who has given us their feedback and voiced their thoughts, because it has led to a better and stronger bill to support Denver residents.”
Before a final proposal was submitted, Hancock, Kniech and other leaders consulted with chambers of commerce, large and small businesses, businesses that employ tipped workers, workers, labor unions, business improvement districts, trade associations and industry groups, the city said.
“Our residents were clear, too many of you are working hard but still unable to make ends meet, and a wage increase is urgent – we heard you, and will proceed in 2020,” Kniech said in a statement. “We also heard that a smaller first step and spreading the proposal out over an additional year would help our small, locally owned businesses better prepare and adapt to higher wages – we heard you too and will be making these adjustments.”
The proposal would boost Denver’s minimum wage in the following increments:
- $12.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020;
- $14.77 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021;
- $15.87 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022; and
- Annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index each year thereafter.
Tentative legislative schedule for the minimum wage increase proposal:
- Nov. 5: Proposal will be discussed as an informational item with public comment at Finance and Governance Committee.
- Nov. 12: Proposal will appear again as an action item with public comment at Denver’s Finance and Governance Committee.
- Nov. 18: First reading at city council.
- Nov. 25: Second reading at city council with a one hour courtesy public hearing.