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Oklahoman minimum wage petition moves forward

Niconor Brown

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday said it will not revisit its decision that an initiative petition seeking to raise the minimum wage was constitutional.

The vote was 6-3.

The action clears the way for supporters to begin gathering the 92,263 signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot.

The State Chamber and Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation challenged the petition, saying it was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to a federal entity.

In March, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the petition was constitutional.

The challengers sought a rehearing, asking for clarification of the two-page order.

“We are grateful the Oklahoma Supreme Court viewed last week’s politically motivated move by the State Chamber for exactly what it was – a blatant delay tactic to block voters from having a say on gradually increasing the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of hard-working Oklahomans and their families,” said Amber England, a spokesperson for Raise the Wage Oklahoma. “Politicians for far too long have ignored this issue while families struggle to make ends meet and we know the only way to give hard-working Oklahomans the pay raise they deserve is by letting voters decide this issue for themselves at the ballot box.”

Proposed State Question 832, if approved by voters, would increase the minimum wage to $9 in 2025 with additional gradual increases until it reaches $15 an hour in 2029. It is currently $7.25 an hour and is tied to the federal minimum wage.

Additional increases would be tied to the cost of living measured by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.

After the signatures are turned in, the petition is subject to another challenge period.

Supporters are hoping to get it on the November ballot.

Oklahoma Voice is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oklahoma Voice maintains editorial independence.

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