Ohioans may soon see a minimum wage constitutional amendment proposal on their November voting ballot after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost certified its summary of petition this week.
The Raise the Wage Ohio Amendment (RWOA) seeks to increase the Buckeye State’s minimum wage annually for four years until it reaches $13 in 2025. Furthermore, this amendment would raise the current non-tipped employees’ minimum wage from $8.70 to $9.60 next year.
Yost approved this proposal after the petitioners submitted him 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a “fair and truthful” proposed amendment summary, according to the attorney general’s press release.
“Without passing on the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure … I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” Yost said in the letter certifying the petition.
Next in the process, the Ohio Ballot Board, which is headed by Secretary of State Frank LaRose, needs to determine if this proposed amendment “contains a single issue or multiple issue.” If the ballot board approves this proposal, the petitioners will have till July 1 to collect 442,958 voter signatures to get on this year’s November ballot.
Two major unions, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 and the Ohio Education Association, backed this minimum wage increase proposal, according to cleveland.com.
SEIU Spokesman Anthony Caldwell told cleveland.com he is confident the unions can gathered the required signatures by the deadline.
“Working people in the state of Ohio are tired of having wages that are stuck in ancient history,” he said.
Fourteen years ago, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment that raised the state’s minimum wage. Back then, a non-tipped employee’s minimum wage went from $5.15 in 2006 to $6.85 in 2007.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]