Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Minimum Wage Increase Passes Through Congress

For the first time in 10 years a minimum wage increase will be handed to the president as part of the larger Iraq spending package. Minimum wage will increase nationally up to 7.25 in stages over the next three years. Colorado passed a minimum wage increase to 6.85 last year, however our legislation is tied to the consumer price index and will continue to go up automatically.

WASHINGTON, May 24 — Congress handed a major victory to low-income workers on Thursday night by approving the first increase in the federal minimum wage rate in a decade.

By a vote of 348 to 73, the House approved the measure as part of a deal on Iraq spending. Less than two hours later, the wage increase was approved in the Senate, where it was combined with a bill providing more money for the Iraq war. That vote was 80 to 14.

The measure would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 in three stages over two years. The bill includes $4.84 billion in tax breaks for small businesses. They have made a case, supported by Republicans and the White House, that the wage increase would be a burden for them.

President Bush said he would sign the measure as part of the bigger spending package that had been negotiated between Democratic lawmakers and the administration.

After the bill is signed, the wage increase will become the first item in the “Six for ’06” agenda of the new Congressional Democratic leadership to become law.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said the increase was overdue.NY TIMES

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