MN Supreme Court Nixes Putting $15 Minimum Wage on the Ballot

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Minneapolis, MN – After weeks of decision makers going back and forth on whether or not Minneapolis will vote on a $15 minimum wage and mandatory liability insurance for police officers, the Minnesota Supreme Court stepped in to give the final word and say “no” to the ballot initiatives.

The effort to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour is led by a group called “15 Now.” The group’s goal is to increase the minimum wage in increments until it reaches $15 in 2020 for small businesses and 2022 for large businesses.  Supporters joined forces with another effort calling on council members to allow the public to also vote on whether or not police officers should be mandated to have liability insurance.

Supporters of the two initiatives originally thought the measures would be on the November ballots after gaining the required amount of signatures.  However, the Minneapolis City Council squashed the ballot initiatives in early August after Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal recommended not putting the measure on the ballot due to it not meeting “certain legal requirements” and said that that “two major changes in labor law should not be put to voters.”

The initiatives were appealed to a Hennepin County court, where the judge issued a split decision, saying that while the minimum wage initiative did meet the legal requirements to be a charter amendment, the mandatory insurance for police did not.

The case was then taken even further, making its way up to the Minnesota Supreme Court. On Wednesday, a day after hearing the case, the court unanimously sided with the Minneapolis City Council’s original decision that neither initiative meets the requirements to be on the November ballot.

The minimum wage increase initiative is far from over.  According to WCCO, council members directed staff to research an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage. The findings will be presented in early 2017.

Opinions from this case have yet to be released by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Subscribe to Alpha News for further coverage.