Lincoln, NE — In a major win for working families, voters on Tuesday approved a proposal to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour by 2026. Nebraska now joins nearly a dozen states that have passed a $15 minimum wage and will reach the milestone in the next few years.
The ballot measure, Initiative 433, will gradually raise the minimum wage until 2026, after which it will increase annually based on inflation. This success of the Raise the Wage Nebraska campaign, an effort supported by the Fairness Project, means that about 150,000 workers will see a raise starting next year — more than a fifth of the state’s workforce.
“Working Nebraskans are long overdue for a raise — and the Fairness Project is so proud to have worked with Raise the Wage Nebraska to deliver one today,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project. “No family should have to choose between putting food on the table, gas in the car, affording medication, or other basic necessities. Congratulations to the workers, organizers, and voters who made this victory possible today. What we saw today underscores that regardless of geography, when people have the opportunity to decide on issues at the ballot box, they choose progress. The Fairness Project has worked tirelessly to pass wage increases in nine states to date, and we are not slowing down when it comes to securing justice for working families through the ballot measure process.”
Raise the Wage Nebraska submitted more than 150,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot, including representation from all 93 counties — a testament to the urgent need for and popularity of a higher minimum wage.
“From strategic guidance to financial support, the Fairness Project was instrumental in securing this win for working families in Nebraska – for the third cycle in a row. Their strong commitment to economic justice, as well as their deep expertise and experience with winning hard-fought ballot measure campaigns, made them an essential partner to our campaign and we’re so grateful for their support,” said Kate Wolfe from Raise the Wage Nebraska.
Since 2016, the Fairness Project has supported and won campaigns to increase the minimum wage in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Washington, benefiting nearly 10 million workers and putting an additional $22 billion in working people’s pockets.
This is also the Fairness Project’s third ballot measure win in Nebraska. Previously, it worked with partners in the state to expand Medicaid via ballot measure in 2018, and won a 2020 initiative to curb predatory payday lending.