FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The minimum wage in Arkansas will increase to $7.50 on Jan. 1 2015, $8.00 on Jan. 1, 2016, and $8.50 on Jan. 2017.
"There's people all around that work minimum wage jobs and the more money they have, the more money they'll be able to spend on their kids, and spend in Fort Smith and spend in Arkansas,” said voter T.C. Bryan.
Attorney for Give Arkansas a Raise Now David Couch said this increase will initially have the biggest impact on state employees.
"The reason that this measure passed is because the people of Arkansas are a really kind, caring bunch of people. Giving somebody an extra $30 or $40 a week, when they work 40 hours a week, was the right thing to do. And the people of Arkansas supported that,” Couch said.
Opponents of the measure said the increase would put a strain on small businesses that will now have to pay employees more.