Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Disability/Minimum-Wage Politics in Arizona

See this interesting article, which begins:

The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities has announced its support for ‘‘uniform application'' of the voter-approved law, which takes effect Monday and creates a state minimum wage of $6.75 an hour.

That means paying the minimum to disabled workers, who until now have been exempted from the minimum wage by federal law. However, Arizona's minimum-wage law does not include such an exemption.

The situation has caused a split among advocates for the developmentally disabled. Some argue that lawmakers should scramble to create an exemption; others contend that the minimum applies to all workers.

The council, which is mandated by federal disability law, endorsed application of the minimum wage to all workers, knowing that some employers were saying jobs would be lost.

‘‘The federal law really focuses on the integration of people in the community,'' said Jami Snyder, the council's executive director. She said one way to do that is to make their pay commensurate with that of other workers.

‘‘We're just trying to open people's eyes and make sure people with disabilities are not devalued in this,'' said Carrie Hobbs Guiden, executive director of the Arc of Arizona - an advocacy group for the developmentally disabled.

I'll definitely be following this.


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