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The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor Standards and Statistics announced this week the proposed new Colorado minimum wage, currently at $12.32 for 2021, will rise Jan. 1 to $12.56, or $9.54 "for those receiving enough in tips for total pay to meet or exceed the full minimum wage," according to a news release issued by the state.

"Annually inflation-adjusting the minimum wage is mandated by a section of the Colorado Constitution that Colorado voters adopted in a 2006 ballot measure (with the exception of 2017-20, when the minimum wage rose by larger amounts due to another ballot measure, in 2016, raising the minimum wage by 90-99 cents annually until it reached $12.00 by 2020)," the release said.

Gov. Polis said, “As we build back better, it’s great to see Colorado workers get a decent raise on the minimum wage to $12.56/hour as our state builds an economy that works for everybodyInvesting in upskilling to help workers have the skills needed to earn much more than minimum wage is one of our top priorities, so Colorado can continue to be a place where everyone can thrive.”

The state said DLSS performs "constitutionally mandated" minimum wage adjustments as part of its annual wage law rulemaking.

"That annual process begins with publishing proposed rules by late September, followed by a comment period that ends with a public hearing, and then adoption of final rules, by late November," the release said. "This year, the proposed wage rules will be published by September 30, 2021, followed by a public hearing on November 1, 2021, and then adoption by November 10, 2021, of final versions of the rules that will take effect January 1, 2022. That same rulemaking schedule will apply to other DLSS rulemaking mandated by recently enacted agricultural labor rights and responsibilities legislation." 

The Joint Budget Committee members and Chair Moreno approved a plan last week that was put forward by the Polis-Primavera administration and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing — starting Jan. 1, direct care workers funded with any state dollars working in-home and community-based settings are to receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour. According to the state, 47 percent of direct care workers in Colorado access some form of public assistance to meet their daily needs and 34 percent are involved with Medicaid.

According to state law, the public may provide comments between now and Nov. 3, either at the public hearing (in person, by phone or by remote video participation) or as written comments that may be submitted in any of these ways:

Inflation for Colorado is calculated and published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and because the minimum wage inflation adjustment must be published by September each year, it is based on inflation from mid-year to mid-year, according to the state.

"The 2022 minimum wage is therefore the 2021 minimum wage, increased by inflation from the middle of 2020 to the middle of 2021," the release said.

Below is the Colorado minimum wage for the past decade:

Min wage