Minimum wage hikes sail to victory during midterm elections


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FILE – Fast-food workers drive though a McDonald’s restaurant demanding a for a $15 hourly minimum wage in East Los Angeles Friday, March 12, 2021. Minimum wage increases, animal protections, police accountability, cutting and increasing taxes are all part of a series of new laws taking effect across the country on Saturday, the first day of 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File) Damian Dovarganes/AP

Minimum wage hikes sail to victory during midterm elections

Ballot measures to hike the minimum wage performed well during the midterm elections, even in one of the reddest states.

Voters in Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., voted on measures that will increase the minimum wages of residents. Voters approved the measures in Nebraska and the district. Nevada’s provision remains uncalled but appears headed for passage.

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Voters approved Initiative 433, which incrementally raises the minimum wage in the ruby-red Cornhusker State from its current $9-per-hour level to $15 over the next four years. The initiative was leading with nearly 60% support and with more than 95% of votes counted.


The measure increases the hourly minimum wage as follows:

$10.50 on Jan. 1, 2023 $12.00 on Jan. 1, 2024 $13.50 on Jan. 1, 2025 $15.00 on Jan. 1, 2026

The last time voters approved a minimum wage increase in Nebraska was during the 2014 midterm elections, which raised hourly pay to $9 by 2016. That measure passed with about the same margin of voters agreeing to the hike as this year.

Washington, D.C.

The district’s Initiative 82 hikes the minimum wage for tipped workers. With its passage, employers will be required to pay $16.10 per hour to tipped employees by 2027 — the same as the minimum wage for nontipped employees. With over 95% of the votes counted, the initiative cinched the win with 74% approval.

Employers are currently permitted to pay tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, as low as $5 per hour if those workers’ hourly wage plus tips come in above Washington’s normal minimum wage of $16.10.

There is a chance that the initiative may face legal obstacles, though. In 2018, voters approved a similar proposal, but it was overturned by the district council.



Question 2, a measure to raise the minimum wage, was leading with 54% of the vote and 72% of votes counted as of Wednesday morning. The ballot provision would raise the minimum wage in the Silver State to $12 per hour by July 2024. It would also set the federal minimum wage as a floor, meaning it would increase if it is exceeded in the future by the federal minimum wage, which is now $7.25.

Right now, Nevada’s minimum wage is $9.50 per hour if an employer offers health benefits and $10.50 per hour if the employer does not.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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