PHOENIX — What would you buy with an extra $6 a week?
Two gallons of milk? A Big Mac Meal?
An overpriced venti half-caf, sugar-free latte?
That’s how much more those at the bottom of the pay scale will be making come Jan. 1 when the minimum wage in Arizona rises 15 cents an hour to $12.15.
Arizona voters mandated in 2006 that the state have its own minimum wage not tied to the federal figure. That set the bottom of the pay scale here at $6.75 an hour, $1.60 higher than what federal law mandated at the time.
Plus there were inflation adjustments.
A decade later, voters decided to turbocharge the raises, imposing a $10 minimum with automatic increases up to $12 as of 2020.
Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour.
With the last of the pre-approved boosts now done, that puts Arizona back into the inflation-adjusted annual increases.