5 more states vote on minimum wages as federal wage stalls

DENVER – Congress’ inaction on the $7.25 hourly minimum wage is again playing out on state ballots, with voters in four states considering an increase and another considering wages for the youngest workers, even though the states already exceed the federal. In some cases voters are also deciding whether to add sick-leave policies to help the working poor.

Ballot proposals in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington come two years after voters in five other states passed minimum-wage hikes. South Dakota voters are taking a second crack at wages, two years after raising them to $8.50 an hour.

Is it a slam dunk that the measures will pass? Maybe. The classic opponents to a higher minimum wage — restaurant associations and small-business groups — are only running muted opposition campaigns.