Nebraska residents will be voting on two initiatives this November: Voter ID Constitutional Amendment and Nebraska Minimum Wage Statute

LINCOLN, Nebraska – This November, people of Nebraska will have the opportunity to vote on two different proposals.

Election officials have, according to Secretary of State Bob Evnen, authenticated the signatures for two separate ballot measures, namely the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment and the Nebraska Minimum Wage Statute.

The Voter ID Amendment proposes making it necessary for residents of Nebraska to provide a government-issued photo identification card before casting their ballots.

With the passage of the Minimum Wage Statute, the hourly minimum wage in the state would increase to $15 by the year 2026.

A petition for a ballot initiative in Nebraska is required by law to have the signatures of at least 7% of all registered voters in the state, which is equal to a minimum of 86,776 persons, and at least 5% of all registered voters in 38 of the state’s counties.

To successfully change the state’s constitution, a petition needs to have the support of at least 10% of the state’s registered voters, or 123,966 individuals.

“After careful review by our counties, I can confirm that the statutory requirements for valid signatures have been met by both the Voter ID and the Minimum Wage initiatives,” said Bob Evnen. “I can also confirm that the statutory requirements for valid signatures have been met by the initiatives to raise the minimum wage.” “I have examined each of the proposals, and both of them adhere to the requirements of the law. The measures regarding voter identification and minimum wage will both be placed on the ballot for the general election in November.

State Senator Julie Slama is one of the people who helped lead the petition to amend the Constitution regarding voter identification requirements. She has stated in the past that a bill requiring voter identification would assist in preventing fraud.

Slama stated that this provision “prevents noncitizens from casting ballots.” “Prevents voters from utilizing fake or inaccurate voter registrations, makes it easier to detect when persons are registered in numerous states, and assures that they are only receiving one vote from each state in which they are registered,”

Boost the Minimum Wage Nearly 150,000 workers in the state would stand to gain from a rise in the state’s minimum hourly wage, according to Nebraska, the organization that is spearheading the petition to raise the minimum wage.

Nancy Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of No More Empty Pots and the organization that sponsored the initiative petition, stated that “this is fantastic news for Nebraska workers and families.” One out of every five workers who will profit from this is a parent who is responsible for financially supporting their children while also attempting to meet their basic needs. The truth is that during the past few years, the cost of essentials such as housing, transportation, and groceries has increased, but the minimum wage has not.

The current hourly minimum wage in the state of Nebraska is $9.

The gradual increase in the minimum wage is being done with the intention of giving businesses time to prepare for the change.

If the effort is successful, the salary increases will be phased in over time. The first raise would take effect in January 2023 and bring the hourly rate up to $10.50. Workers earning the minimum wage would see their salary grow from approximately $720 to $840 every two weeks, which is an increase of $3,120 per year.

Additional increases would take place on an annual basis until the minimum wage hits $15 per hour or $31,200 annually in 2026, whichever comes first.

The gradual increase in the minimum wage is being done with the intention of giving businesses time to prepare for the change.

Opponents, on the other hand, frequently argue that it will be detrimental to enterprises that employ teens and have entry-level roles.

Economists at the Employment Policies Institute, a fiscally conservative, non-profit American think tank in Washington, D.C., claim that restaurants, an industry that is currently struggling with a pandemic and personnel shortage, will be impacted the most by the hike in the minimum wage.

“What good is a salary increase if it compels a business to close its doors?” is the line of reasoning behind this statement.

On the other hand, there are businesses that believe a rise in the minimum wage would be beneficial to thousands of people living in Nebraska.

Raygun Clothing is located in a variety of locations across the Midwest and employs a total of 110 individuals in a wide variety of roles. From right here in Omaha’s Old Market to Kansas City, Chicago, and four places in the state of Iowa, including Des Moines and Iowa City, we’ve got you covered.

According to the proprietor, Mike Draper, he pays his staff $14 per hour to start, and on October 1st, that will increase to $15 per hour.

According to him, increasing the minimum wage should be less about bringing it up at an arbitrary rate and more about keeping it in line with rises in other wages.

According to Draper, “our long-standing support for raising the minimum wage is not based on the belief that we want a communist utopia to take hold.” It’s just that the minimum wage has turned into this peculiar loophole, where it’s the only thing tied to other things that are getting more expensive. In contrast to changes made to social services and eligibility requirements, the minimum wage has not been adjusted. Which indicates that we will frequently be providing financial support to the workforce of our rivals.

In the end, the decision of whether or not to raise the state’s minimum wage will be left up to the voters of Nebraska in the month of November.

According to Secretary Evnen, there will be three public hearings about the initiatives held in each of the three congressional districts in the state. It is anticipated that the dates, times, and places of the meetings will be disclosed at a later date.

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