PHOENIX — A law that would create two separate minimum wages in Arizona hit a snag Thursday.
HB 2523 was not brought up as scheduled in the Arizona Senate Commerce Committee.
The legislation would allow employers to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 to full-time students under the age of 22 who work part-time—lower than the state minimum wage of $11.
Arizona voters approved of Prop 206, which increased the state's minimum wage in stages. In 2020, the wage will rise to $12 an hour and will be tied to inflation in the following years.
Bill Sponsor Travis Grantham, R-Gilbert, said in a committee hearing back in February, the legislation could act as an "incentive" for businesses to hire young workers.
Rep. Grantham said the state's minimum wage is too high for some businesses that must also pay to train and uniform a part-time employee.
In downtown Tempe, near Arizona State University's campus, the feelings were quite different. Those part-time college students told 12 News, the new rules would make them feel as if they were worth less.
“No one is paying for our educations, we are. Our parents aren’t helping. We don’t have the priveldge of not working,” Robotics student Niglan Quevedo Jr. said.
Quevedo works for $11 an hour at Boost mobile. He said many of his friends all rely on jobs to help them get through college and to eat more than just "ramen."
“It’s not really balancing, it’s more struggling. Minimum wage is already a struggle.” Quevedo said.
With the legislation held up, it is unclear when, or if, it will be brought up again.