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Minimum wage plan meets initial signature count

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 16, 2014 at 12:29 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A proposal to gradually raise Arkansas' minimum wage is one step closer to appearing on the November ballot after petitions for the measure passed an initial signature count.

Secretary of State Mark Martin said Wednesday that an initial count found that 64,000 signatures were submitted for the proposed initiated act backed by Give Arkansas a Raise Now. The group needs 62,507 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

The office is now checking to make sure the signatures are from registered voters. Clearing the initial count means supporters of the measure can have 30 more days to gather additional signatures if they fall short during the verification stage.

The proposal would raise Arkansas' minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017.

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Dontcallmenames says... July 16, 2014 at 4:36 p.m.

I vote we raise it to $20/hour, no wait...$25/hour. Well, why not? If it "should be" $8.50/hour, then why not $9 or $10 or $20.

And why aren't these grown-ups moving up the corporate ladder at these places where they are only earning the minimum? If these were good workers, they would be earning raises and promotions, instead of relying on someone forcing a business to pay them more for work they are obviously not very good at doing in the first place.

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RBBrittain says... July 16, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

@DCMN: Evidently you haven't been paying attention the last several years. A lot of "good workers" LOST their jobs during the "Great Recession"; minimum wage doesn't pay enough to feed their kids. And if minimum wage isn't enough to get them back in the workforce, how on earth are they gonna start "moving up the corporate ladder" again?
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IMO there's a "sweet spot" for the minimum wage: High enough to prevent bottom-feeders from exploiting people who need a job (the whole reason it exists), but low enough that legitimate businesses who need minimum-wage workers can still hire them without too much trouble. By that scale $7.25/hr. (the current Federal minimum wage) is probably too low, but $15/hr. (Seattle's new minimum wage) is probably too high.

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