Nebraska Voters Urged To Raise Minimum Wage Again | New
(Lincoln) – A coalition of community organizations and supporters in Nebraska collects signatures for a voting initiative that would bring the state’s minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2026.
Nancy Williams, Group President and CEO No more empty jars, said the measure can directly address poverty, which she says is at the root of a myriad of challenges Nebraska families face – from food and housing insecurity to educational opportunities For the young.
“When we have a higher wage for more workers,” said Williams, “it will give them more income so that they can meet their basic needs.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska consistently ranks among the states with the highest number of people working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Forty-two percent of the lowest income families in Nebraska spend more than a third of their income on housing alone.
Critics of the minimum wage increase have argued it could hurt small businesses and claim that most jobs paying basement wages are held by teenagers.
In 2014, voters in Nebraska raised the minimum wage through a voting initiative from $ 8 to $ 9 an hour, which took effect in 2016. Tipping workers earn just $ 2.13 time.
Williams said the minimum wage increase would impact one in five Nebraska workers across the state, and most aren’t high school students earning the extra money.
“Eighty-one percent, based on the data we have, are 20 years of age and older,” Williams said. “About a third of them have a high school diploma. So it’s not just for teens, it’s for everyone who does the job.”
Williams added that many teens contribute to their family’s income and that all workers deserve to be paid a fair wage.
She said the gradual increase in the minimum wage would increase the chances of Nebraska families to thrive and also be an important step towards achieving racial and gender pay equity statewide.
The deadline for submitting at least 87,000 verified signatures to proceed with the November 8, 2022 ballot is the first week of July next year.