Lincoln, NE – Today, Raise the Wage Nebraska, a Fairness Project-supported campaign, submitted more than 150,000 signatures from all 93 counties to place a ballot measure raising Nebraska’s minimum wage to $15 on the November ballot. Raise the Wage Nebraska’s ballot measure will gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 and continue to adjust each year after that for inflation. About 20 percent of the state’s workforce, 195,000 Nebraskans, will immediately benefit from higher wages. Raising the minimum wage will also narrow the state’s gender and racial pay gaps.
In reaction to this, Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“The cost of living continues to rise, but wages haven’t kept up. Nebraskans deserve to be able to cover their expenses and save for the future. Everyone in America should be able to afford housing and put food on the table, but that’s out of reach for too many under Nebraska’s current $9/hour poverty wage.
“Nebraskans are fighting to qualify this citizen-led ballot measure at a time when extremists want to restrict the ballot measure process and make it harder for voters to pass policies that help people — including raising wages. We know that when people have a choice at the ballot box, they choose policies that improve the quality of life in their communities. A raise is long overdue for workers in Nebraska, and we’re proud to be in the fight for more stability for working families.”
In order to qualify for the November ballot, the campaign needed to submit signatures from 7 percent of registered voters, including at least 5 percent of registered voters in at least 38 counties — a requirement intended by extremists in the state legislature to make people-powered ballot measures more difficult to pass. Next, the Nebraska Secretary of State and county election officials will review the signatures and determine whether the measure has qualified for the ballot.
Since 2016, Fairness Project has helped local partners put minimum wage increases on the ballot and win. Fairness Project has won wage increases in nine states to date, benefiting nearly 10 million workers and putting nearly $22 billion in people’s pockets.