Minimum Wage Ballot Measures Advancing in California and Nevada

Organizers promoting a statewide ballot measure to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 by 2021 began submitting more than 600,000 signatures supporting the initiative last week, far more than the 366,000 that are needed to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. The Fair Wage Act of 2016, which is one of two proposed California $15 ballot measures, would raise the state’s minimum wage from its current $10 per hour to $11 in 2017, and then increase it $1 each year to hit $15 in 2021.

The latest statewide $15 ballot effort comes as more California cities move to enact $15 minimum wage plans. Earlier this month, Santa Monica passed a citywide $15 minimum wage, and last week the Long Beach City Council approved a plan that will raise the minimum wage to $13 by 2019 with a pathway to $15 by 2021. Six other California cities, plus Los Angeles County, have already approved $15 local minimum wages.

In Nevada, a district court rejected a business group’s efforts to thwart a statewide 2016 ballot initiative that seeks to raise the state minimum wage incrementally to $13 by 2024, allowing the measure to move forward as supporters work to gather the 55,234 signatures from registered voters required by June 21 to place it on the November ballot. Campaigning in Nevada last week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told the Las Vegas Sun that she supports the statewide ballot initiative.

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