The typical Denver renter pays roughly $1,638 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, more than double the $770 median monthly rent a hundred miles east in Yuma, according to federal housing data. But not only do minimum-wage workers in both cities take home roughly the same pay every month, Denver is barred by Colorado law from setting a higher minimum wage of its own. Now, Democrats and a coalition of activist groups wants to change that.
On Monday, February 25, Democratic lawmakers at the State Capitol introduced the latest version of the Local Government Minimum Wage Act, a bill that would repeal a 1999 state law prohibiting local governments from enacting their own minimum-wage ordinances.
“What works for Denver is not necessarily going to work for Greeley or Trinidad," said Representative Rochelle Galindo, a Democrat from Greeley and a bill sponsor, at a press conference announcing the legislation. “The cost of living continues to increase while wages remain stagnant, and the local wage option is a tool that can help Colorado’s varied communities thrive.”