Big bucks back push to hike NE’s minimum wage

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

The folks behind a statewide push to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage are raising some maximum bucks.

Nebraskans for Better Wages has raked in nearly $316,000 with one wealthy Nebraskan and four unions kicking in at least $70,000, according to the latest state campaign finance report.

State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist rallying the troops as Nebraskans for Better Wages prepare to hit the streets to gather 83,000 names by July 4

The group needs roughly 83,000 valid signatures by July 4th to put the issue on the November ballot, when voters would be asked to up the current minimum of $7.25 an hour to $8 by January 1, 2015 followed by a second bump to $9 on January 1, 2016.

Those 83,000 names represent 7 percent of the state’s nearly 1.2 million registered voters. In addition signatures must also be collected from 5 percent of the registered voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties.

According to the drive’s organizers they have hundreds of petitioners across the state—full and part-time earning $10.50-$12.50 an hour.

Among those backing the petition:

  • Omaha philanthropist Dick Holland: $25,000
  • Nebraska State Education Association: $25,000
  • Nebraska State AFL-CIO: $10,000
  • Nebraska State Council of Electrical Workers: $5,000
  • Nebraska State Utility Workers: $5,000

Although a move to up the minimum wage fell short in the legislature this spring, supporters claim a January poll found 60 percent of Nebraskans favoring an increase.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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