Jefferson City, MO — Last week, Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages took a significant step forward in their campaign for workers rights, submitting over 210,000 signatures to qualify their ballot measure for the November 2024 ballot.

The amendment, backed by the Fairness Project, would gradually raise the minimum wage in Missouri — currently $12.35/hour — to $15/hour by 2026, improving quality of life for 137,000 Missourians and 338,000 children. It would also allow workers to earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for 30 hours worked — around 7 days per year for a full time worker at a large company, or 5 days per year at a smaller company

Under state law, the campaign was required to submit at least 172,000 valid signatures from at least six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts by the May 5 deadline. The signatures must now be verified by the secretary of state and county officials before the amendment goes to voters.

“Ballot measures have proven again and again to be an incredibly effective tool for giving workers a raise when politicians refuse to do so,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project. “This amendment is just common sense. Workers in Missouri deserve financial security and the opportunity to take care of themselves and their families when they’re sick. We’re proud to be supporting Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages and continuing the tradition of direct democracy in Missouri.”

Voters in Missouri have a history of using the ballot measure process to enact change. In 2020, the Fairness Project worked with a broad coalition of grassroots groups, patient advocates, and health care providers to pass Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that expanded Medicaid to over 275,000 low-income Missourians. In 2018, the Fairness Project worked with local partners to pass a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage from $7.85 an hour in 2018 to $12 an hour in 2023 for 677,000 Missourians.

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