Chances are looking good that Arkansas voters will have theÂ chance to vote on a minimum wage increaseÂ come November, Greg Sargent reports:
Dems organizing the initiative tell me they have now amassed at least 10,000 more signatures than the approximately 62,000 required â€” which, if true, suggests they have a shot at getting them certified, though this is far from a done deal.â€śWeâ€™re in the 72,000 range, and we still have some volunteer efforts going on in the state, so weâ€™re going to add more on top of that,â€ť Robert McLarty, petition director for the Arkansas Interfaith Alliance, a lead group organizing the effort, tells me. â€śThere could be a challenge from somebody, but we are confident we will get this on the ballot.â€ť
The increase in question, taking the Arkansas minimum wage to $8.50 by 2017, is pretty puny by the standards of recent increases like Seattle’s $15 or the $10.10 passed in a growing number of states, but it’s also substantially better than the state’s current minimum wage of $6.25 an hour, which applies to workers at some small businesses, or the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Having the minimum wage on the ballot could also have electoral implications. Conservative Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is facing a tough challenge, and he has endorsed the $8.50 minimum wage (though raising the federal minimum to $10.10 is just too much for him). Getting people out to vote for above-poverty wages could help Pryor defeat Rep. Tom Cotton.
This article was originally printed on the Daily KosÂ on Jume 3, 2014. Â Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura ClawsonÂ is the labor editor at the Daily Kos.