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Backers Of Minimum Wage Ballot Issue Say Coronavirus Restrictions Harming Their Efforts

Apr 1, 2020

Backers of a planned fall ballot issue seeking to raise the minimum wage in Ohio to 13 dollars an hour by 2025 have filed a lawsuit, saying Governor Mike DeWine's coronavirus restrictions have halted their effort. 

The group says it wants more time and lowered requirements. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler explains.

The group has until July 1 to submit around 442,000 valid signatures. It stopped gathering signatures around March 15, when DeWine closed bars and made restaurants carry out only. But the requirements are in the Ohio constitution. James Hayes with Raise the Wage Ohio says it’s an unusual time, and the rights of those who want to vote on this issue need to be protected.

“Given the unprecedented nature of the crisis we’re facing right now, we believe that it’s an argument that can be made.”

The group wants the deadline extended to August 21, and the number of needed signatures cut nearly in half, to around 265,000. The group said it had nearly 74,000 signatures when it had to stop collecting them.