Minimum wage initiative qualifies for ballot

LINCOLN – A petition initiative to increase the minimum wage in Nebraska has met the qualifications to be voted on during the general election. Secretary of State John Gale says enough verified signatures have been submitted to add the issue to the ballot in November.At least 80,386 signatures were required to add the petition initiative to the ballot. At least five percent of those who signed had to come from 38 of the state’s 93 counties. “In this case, 89,817 signatures were verified which was more than enough to meet the threshold,” explained Gale.Gale added that he appreciated the efforts of the county election officials to get this petition and other petitions processed in a timely manner. “They’ve been working hard to ensure that the verification process has gone smoothly, not only for this petition, but the candidate petitions that we have received as well.”The language that will appear on the ballot is available for viewing on the Secretary of State’s website: said the next step will involve formalizing the dates for three public hearings to be held in each of the three congressional districts as well as production of a brochure about the minimum wage initiative that will be distributed to each of the county election offices.The last petition initiative to appear on a statewide ballot was in 2008 dealing with affirmative action.