By Matt Kroschel

DENVER (CBS4) – Supporters of a push to increase the minimum wage statewide say $12 by 2020 is not unreasonable. But opponents warn a wage increase like this will actually kill jobs and force business owners to close their doors.

Sonia Riggs with the Colorado Restaurant Association told CBS4 the new proposal for a statewide minimum wage increase to $12 will force many restaurant owners to close their doors, or pass the major increases onto customers.

“This is a math issue, it just does not make sense and has not worked elsewhere where similar increases have went into place like in California,” Riggs said.

But supporters like Richard Correa, who owns an insurance agency in Colorado, says he supports the effort because he thinks its just the right thing to do.

Workers across the Denver metro area joined thousands of others across the country on Nov. 10, 2015, to demand a better living wage in a movement called "Fight for 15 Day." (credit: CBS)

Workers across the Denver metro area joined thousands of others across the country on Nov. 10, 2015, to demand a better living wage in a movement called “Fight for 15 Day.” (credit: CBS)

“This is a no-brainer, we should be helping our workers to be able to take care of their families and with the cost of living increases, this needs to happen,” Correa said.

A group called Colorado Families for a Fair Wage filed paperwork with the Colorado Secretary of State Thursday, which is the first step to getting the question before voters in the November election.

They released the following prepared statement:

More than 84 percent of Colorado workers who make less than $12 an hour are over the age of 20. Many are supporting families. A minimum wage of $12 by 2020 would bring Colorado workers back to an inflation-adjusted level close to the minimum wage in the late 1960s. Restoring that lost buying power in the minimum wage would help workers, businesses and the Colorado economy.

At the current rate, a full-time worker making the current $8.31 an hour in Colorado would earn approximately $17,000 a year.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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