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Minimum wage measure cleared for November ballot

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Arizonans will get to decide in November whether to hike the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

In a brief order this afternoon the Arizona Supreme Court said challengers, led by the Arizona Restaurant Association, waited too long before challenging the petitions. The court said the plain language of the statute gives foes just five days.

The justices specifically rejected arguments by attorneys for opponents that they should read the deadline for challenges to mean five business days, excluding weekends. Chief Justice Scott Bales, writing the order, said words mean what they say.

“When the Legislature wants to designate the meaning of ‘days’ in election statutes to be something other than calendar days … it has done so expressly,” he wrote.

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