Ruling on lawsuit blocking $12 an hour minimum wage expected next week

Posted at 9:28 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 08:33:38-04

Could Arizonans see $12 an hour minimum wage on their November ballots? Maybe. 

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joshua Rodgers is expected to rule next week on a lawsuit filed by the Arizona Restaurant Association challenging the petition signatures submitted to get the minimum wage initiative on November's ballot. 

Under the initiative, the state's minimum wage would increase from $8.05 an hour to $10 an hour in 2017 before a $12 an hour spike in 2020. 


The campaign behind the initiative, Arizona Healthy Working Families, initially submitted more than 270,000 signatures with the Secretary of State's Office. 

“This attempt to thwart democracy and block the ballot verification process is nothing short of a brutish attack of the haves against the have-nots in our state,” said campaign chairman Tomas Robles.

In court Thursday, Roopali Desai, a lawyer representing the restaurant association, challenged the legitimacy of some of the signature collectors and whether they were properly registered. 

"This was just a mill," Desai said in court. 

Judge Rogers did throw out an unknown number of signatures, but it remains to be seen if the numbers affect getting the initiative on November's ballot. 

"It's really unclear," Elections Director Eric Spencer told ABC15. 

Closing statements are due Monday with the judge's ruling to follow.