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Campaign to raise Missouri’s minimum wage submits signatures to force statewide vote

Organizers of a marketing campaign to raise Missouri’s minimum wage and assure sick depart for employees dropped off signatures on Wednesday to force a statewide vote on the measure.

The marketing campaign, known as Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages, mentioned it submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office greater than 210,000 signatures from voters throughout the state. It would doubtless seem on the November poll if election officers confirm that the marketing campaign garnered sufficient signatures.

The proposed poll measure would raise the state’s minimum wage from $12 an hour to $13.75 beginning subsequent yr. It would rise to $15 an hour starting in 2026.

It would additionally assure paid sick depart, requiring companies to permit employees to earn one hour of sick depart for each 30 hours labored. Workers, in accordance to the measure, would have the opportunity to earn between 5 to seven days of depart a yr relying on the dimensions of their enterprise.

“There are some people who don’t get it — who don’t understand that we do need a living wage in Missouri and not just a minimum wage,” mentioned DeMarco Davidson, the manager director of Metropolitan Congregations United, who spoke on behalf of the marketing campaign. “Right now, there are far too many families going without guaranteed sick pay.”

According to the proposal, the earned sick depart provision wouldn’t apply to authorities employees, retail or service workers who work for a enterprise that makes lower than $500,000 a yr, people who find themselves incarcerated, golf caddies, and babysitters, amongst others.

Supporters of the trouble held a press convention on the Secretary of State’s Office to tout a necessity to raise the state’s minimum wage.

Joseph Chevalier, the proprietor of Yellow Dog Bookshop in Columbia, mentioned in a press release on Wednesday that companies ought to have the opportunity to plan forward for the wage will increase and paid sick time.

“The minimum wage needs to be raised,” he mentioned. “Small businesses like mine depend on local customers with money to spend.”

The marketing campaign seems to have submitted properly above the variety of signatures required to attain the poll. Campaigners in search of to change state legislation should accumulate signatures from 5% of voters in six of the state’s eight congressional districts — roughly 115,000.

The group has raised greater than $1.8 million in fundraising since launching its marketing campaign and had roughly $440,000 readily available on the finish of March, in accordance to its most up-to-date report with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Wednesday’s submittal comes forward as a slew of campaigns are anticipated to submit signatures this week, together with an effort to legalize sports activities betting and a marketing campaign to overturn Missouri’s strict abortion ban.

It additionally comes as Missouri Republicans are contemplating laws that will make it harder for Missourians to amend the state constitution by its century-old initiative petition course of.

A tough-right group of senators has blocked all action in the General Assembly till the Senate agrees to move the laws.

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