The Ohio attorney general’s office approved a summary of a petition Monday for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would increase the state minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2025.
The petition contained both the necessary 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a “fair and truthful summary of the proposed amendment,” according to the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Lawyers representing Ohioans for Raising the Wage submitted the petition, entitled “Raise the Wage Ohio Amendment,” to Yost’s office Jan. 17.
After approval from Ohio’s ballot board, which certifies the language voters will see, Ohioans for Raising the Wage can begin collecting signatures to add its proposed amendment to the November general election ballot. The group must gather 442,958 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters by July 1.
James Hayes, spokesman for Ohioans for Raising the Wage, said he believes his group will be able to collect the required amount by the deadline.
“We are confident that we have the people power to go out there and talk to every Ohioan — there’s a lot of support,” Hayes said.
Ohioans for Raising the Wage will use both volunteer and paid signature collectors, and it will enlist help from other organizations in the effort, Hayes said.
“We are excited at the news, encouraged to move forward, and confident that, if we can build the coalition we need to get this on the ballot — we will win in November,” Hayes said.
Ohio’s minimum hourly wage of $8.70, which increases annually based on inflation, ranks 28th among the states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The average state minimum wage last year was $11.80 an hour.If approved by voters, the proposal would increase the minimum wage to $9.60 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021, then boost it by 85 cents each year for four years to reach $13 an hour ($27,040 annually) in 2025. Future increases then would be tied to the rate of inflation.
Cole Behrens is a fellow at the E.W. Scripps Statehouse News Bureau.