Arizona State Senate panel essentially kills youth minimum wage proposal

PHOENIX (AP) -- An Arizona Senate panel added a supermajority vote requirement to a Republican legislative proposal allowing lower minimum wages for young workers attending school, a move that essentially kills the proposal.

Monday's move by the Senate Rules Committee came after the panel's own lawyer echoed opinions by the attorney general and two other legislative lawyers that the measure required a three-fourths vote to pass.

All four cited the Voter Protection Act, which prevents lawmakers from changing voter-approved laws unless they have a supermajority vote and "further the purpose" of the law.

Arizona's voter-mandated minimum wage is now $11 an hour. Republican Rep. Travis Grantham's bill would let full-time students under 22 earn the $7.25 an hour federal minimum.

Senate Democrats oppose the measure so a supermajority vote is impossible to achieve.