Minimum Wage Measure Qualifies For Nebraska Ballot

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A proposed ballot measure to increase Nebraska's minimum wage has qualified for the November ballot.

The secretary of state's office said Friday it has verified enough signatures.

If approved by voters, the measure would increase Nebraska's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal minimum, to $9 an hour by 2016.

Secretary of State John Gale says his office verified 89,817 signatures. Petition circulators needed at least 80,386 signatures to qualify. They also were required to gather signatures from at least 5 percent of residents in 38 Nebraska counties.

The issue could boost voter turnout in a year with contested races for governor and U.S. Senate. The last petition initiative to appear on a statewide ballot was a 2008 issue that dealt with affirmative action.

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