Colorado votes to increase minimum wage, path to $12 an hour

Haley Candelario

Amendment 70, the statewide ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12, passed following the results of the 2016 election.

Nearly 55 percent of Colorado residents voted for the amendment.


Minimum wage in Colorado is currently $8.31 per hour. The initiative will raise the current minimum wage $0.90 until it reaches $12 an hour.

The minimum wage would be raised to $9.30 in 2017, $10.20 in 2018, $11.10 in 2019, and $12.00 in 2020. Following 2020, annual adjustments to the minimum wage would be made to account for increases in the cost of living, according to Ballotpedia.

Ryan Box, a freshman history major, supported Amendment 70.

“I voted for it, and I’m happy it passed because hopefully it will produce better pay and minimum wage will go up,” Box said. “The reason why I voted for it was, in (sociology) class we learned how it’s been tested before, and the exponential increase you’d expect from corporations, from raising the minimum wage, has not been reflected on a similar time graph to this amendment, so I voted for it.”

Vishwal Shah, a graduate student in computer information systems, said if he would have supported the proposition if he was able to vote.

Shah is an international student from India. He said that wage should be proportionate to the cost of necessities.

“If you’re getting paid that is not meeting the necessities, then the minimum wage should be increased,” Shah said.

Freshman English major Jarion Hamm did not support the initiative.

“I don’t want them to raise the minimum wage like that, only because of the affect of everything else,” Hamm said.

Colorado State University, prior to the results, considered how the amendment would affect costs to the University. Board members at the annual Board of Governors meeting discussed cost projections of Amendment 70.


Increasing the minimum wage would cost the University nearly $689,278 for the 2,738 CSU employees working below the minimum wage.

Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.