Alcohol, minimum wage groups submit more signatures

by The City Wire staff ( 2 views 

Supporters of raising the minimum wage and a group wanting a statewide vote on expanding alcohol sales have both turned in additional numbers of signatures to potentially qualify their measures for the November ballot.

Give Arkansas A Raise Now and its signature collection firm, The Markham Group, turned in an additional 69,027 signatures on Monday to the Secretary of State’s office.

Give Arkansas A Raise Now is promoting an initiated act ballot issue to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour over the next three years. Its efforts have been endorsed by incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross.

The group had turned in more than 62,507 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot last month, but a review of signatures reduced the qualified amount to roughly 48,000. Supporters were given a 30-day cure period to collect more signatures to meet the 62,507 threshold.

Let Arkansas Decide, a group seeking a constitutional amendment to allow alcohol sales in all 75 counties, turned in an additional 41,492 signatures to Secretary of State Mark Martin on Friday.

About 17,000 original signatures turned in by the alcohol expansion group last month were disqualified leaving it short of its goal of 78,133 signatures to make the November ballot.