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Signature collection for Oklahoma minimum wage state question can begin this week

Alexander Grey
There are 34 states, territories and districts that have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Supporters of raising the minimum wage can start collecting signatures Tuesday on an initiative petition to put the issue on a ballot.

Proponents of State Question 832 have 90 days to collect 92,263 signatures for the proposal to be put on the ballot. Under state law, the number of signatures for a citizen-initiated ballot measure that amends state law must be 8% of the votes cast in Oklahoma’s latest gubernatorial election.

SQ 832 would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2029. From the year 2030 on, the wage would rise each year at the same rate as the cost of living as it is measured by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. Currently, Oklahoma’s minimum wage matches the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour.

This comes after unsuccessful legal challenges from the State Chamber of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Farm Bureau. The entities asserted the proposal would violate the state constitution.

Last month, though, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled that they disagreed in a 7-2 decision and the initiative petition could move forward.

No more signatures will be accepted after 5 p.m. on July 14.

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Anna Pope is a reporter covering agriculture and rural issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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