Supporters of raising Nebraska's minimum wage turned in tens-of-thousands more signatures that required to put the issue on the November ballot.
The Secretary of State will now verify the signatures. The last petition initiative to go to the Nebraska voters was in 2008.
“To qualify a statutory measure for the ballot, circulators must collect signatures from at least 7 percent of registered voters,” explained Secretary of State John Gale in a news release. “Those signatures must include at least 5 percent of registered voters from 38 of the state’s 93 counties.”
Supporters need 81,000 valid signatures.
“Nebraskans value hard work and overwhelming agree that if you work hard you should earn enough to be able to take care of your family," said state Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, sponsor of the initiative. "We are talking about making sure hardworking Nebraskans earn enough to provide the basics like a tank of gas for the car or paying for a doctor’s visit,” said state Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, sponsor of the initiative. “This is truly a historic victory for all hardworking Nebraskans and a historic victory for all Nebraskans who value an economy that works for everyone.”
Nebraskans for Better Wages organized the signature gathering.
“They’ll be checking to make sure each petition signer is properly registered, and that the address, signature and birthdates match up," said Secretary of State Gale. "County election officials will have 40 days from the date they receive the petitions to get through that process. My office can grant an additional 10 days if needed, but since this is the only petition initiative it’s likely they’ll get the job done in time.”
Right now, Nebraska's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. If voters approve the ballot measure, it would go up to $8 next year and $9 the following year.