Big bucks back push to hike NE’s minimum wage

Joe Jordan
|
Jun 09, 2014 8:35 AM
Big bucks back push to hike NE’s minimum wage

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

The folks behind a statewide push to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage are raising some maximum bucks.

Nebraskans for Better Wages has raked in nearly $316,000 with one wealthy Nebraskan and four unions kicking in at least $70,000, according to the latest state campaign finance report.

State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist rallying the troops as Nebraskans for Better Wages hit the streets to gather 83,000 names by July 4

State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist rallying the troops as Nebraskans for Better Wages prepare to hit the streets to gather 83,000 names by July 4

The group needs roughly 83,000 valid signatures by July 4th to put the issue on the November ballot, when voters would be asked to up the current minimum of $7.25 an hour to $8 by January 1, 2015 followed by a second bump to $9 on January 1, 2016.

Those 83,000 names represent 7 percent of the state’s nearly 1.2 million registered voters. In addition signatures must also be collected from 5 percent of the registered voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties.

According to the drive’s organizers they have hundreds of petitioners across the state—full and part-time earning $10.50-$12.50 an hour.

Among those backing the petition:

  • Omaha philanthropist Dick Holland: $25,000
  • Nebraska State Education Association: $25,000
  • Nebraska State AFL-CIO: $10,000
  • Nebraska State Council of Electrical Workers: $5,000
  • Nebraska State Utility Workers: $5,000

Although a move to up the minimum wage fell short in the legislature this spring, supporters claim a January poll found 60 percent of Nebraskans favoring an increase.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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