Group seeks to put minimum wage increase on November ballot

May 16, 2014

A petition drive begins Monday to place a minimum wage increase on the November ballot in Nebraska.

Better Wages Nebraska wants the minimum wage raised to $9 an hour by 2016. Currently, Nebraska’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. State Senator Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha is among the lawmakers leading the effort. He says 32,000 Nebraskans earn minimum wage, and more than 100,000 make less than $9 an hour.

"This means dollars in the pockets of families who are doing things the right way. They’re working very hard trying to get by, but unfortunately there’s more and more of our families falling behind. The quickest way for us to move people to self-sufficiency is to get them in employment that actually pays a decent wage. And this moves us in that direction."

Better Wages Nebraska needs to collect 83,000 signatures by July 3 for the measure to be placed on the November ballot. If it is and it passes, the minimum wage would increase to $8 next year, and $9 in 2016.