Nebraska voters will get to decide on minimum wage increase

A question asking if the minimum wage rate for employees in Nebraska should increase from $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour on January 1, 2015, and to $9.00 per hour on January 1, 2016, will be put before the voters in the upcoming November General Election. Enough verified signatures have been submitted to add the petition initiative to the ballot, according to Secretary of State John Gale.

At least 80,386 signatures were required to add the petition initiative to the ballot. At least five percent of those who signed had to come from 38 of the state’s 93 counties. “In this case, 89,817 signatures were verified which was more than enough to meet the threshold,” explained Secretary of State Gale.

Gale said that the next step will involve formalizing the dates for three public hearings to be held in each of the three congressional districts as well as production of a brochure about the minimum wage initiative that will be distributed to each of the county election offices.

The last petition initiative to appear on a statewide ballot was in 2008 dealing with affirmative action. (State of Nebraska, Office of Secretary of State John A. Gale, Press Release, August 15, 2014, http://www.sos.ne.gov/admin/press_releases/pdf-2014/2014-08-15-minimum-wage-qualifies-NR.pdf; Initiative Measure 425, http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/2014/pdf/Initiative-Measure-425.pdf.)

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