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After saying proposal to increase minimum wage failed to make Ohio ballot, organizers backtrack

Last Updated 1 week by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

After the organizers for the proposal to raise the minimum wage in Ohio to $15 said they failed to meet the requirements to get on the November ballot, they backtracked and said their team is going to look at all options prior to the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

This story has been updated numerous times, as it was published before the organizers said they weren’t making the ballot. Then it was updated to reflect those changes and is now updated to share the organizers are evaluating the situation.

One Fair Wage released a statement at around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday saying they didn’t meet the requirements to be on the ballot:

After receiving our final turn-ins from across the state today, we have determined that we wont make the 44-county requirement and will thus continue to collect signatures to be on the 2025 ballot. Unfortunately, as we reviewed the hundreds of thousands of signatures we collected, we found that the signature counts in rural counties confirmed our expectations of dampened signature gathering due to violence and intimidation toward our low-wage worker of color canvassers, who were verbally abused and harassed by those opposing raises for workers. While we are very close to our goal, we want to continue collecting signatures to honor and respect the tremendous effort so many workers have contributed. We are disappointed but determined to continue collecting until we have enough to put $15 plus tips on the November 2025 ballot.

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At 5:10 p.m., an organizer called me to let me know that they are keeping their options open. Before going off the record, they said they were getting some feedback from their coalition partners that they should have a “second review” of the signatures before the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

Wednesday night is the deadline to submit signatures to get a proposal on the November ballot to increase the minimum wage in Ohio to $15. It is unclear when and if they are submitting signatures, which is unusual for organizers trying to change the constitution.

Advocates have been trying to raise the minimum wage in Ohio for years, and it garners support from Ohioans like Brandon Haverlick.

“I think everybody should at least get $15 an hour,” Haverlick said.

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Right now, Ohios minimum wage is $10.45 for nontipped workers and $5.25 for tipped.

Raise the Wage Ohio has been collecting signatures to increase those wages to $15 for both nontipped and tipped workers.

We had been reaching out to the group for weeks but hadn’t heard back until Wednesday evening.

With inflation continuing to rise, Policy Matters Ohio economist Michael Shields said this change is needed.

“It’s a measure that would both bring us closer to the cost of living in terms of the wage that everybody is taking home and also make our labor market more fair,” Shields said.

In an effort to combat the amendment, state Republicans introduced their own wage-hike bill to “fend off” the constitutional amendment. Ohio Republicans introduce bill to stop Nov. ballot proposal to increase minimum wage to $15

RELATED: Ohio Republicans introduce bill to stop Nov. ballot proposal to increase minimum wage to $15

But the Ohio Chamber of Commerces Steve Stivers said the proposal will hurt more than help.

“It will make the cost of everything more and inflation is already a major concern for Ohioans right now,” Stivers said.

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Businesses will need to raise prices to make sure they can pay their employees more, he added. Plus, servers at restaurants could lose out on tip money.

“If they went on minimum wage, people might tip less and they might actually earn a lot less by getting an increase to the actual minimum wage from the tipped wage, which is a little lower,” he said.

Recent research by Shields found that waiters and waitresses in Ohio make $13 at the median.

“$15 an hour is a good baseline,” Haverlick said.

The petitioners need to submit about 415,000 valid signatures by 11:59 p.m. on July 3.

Follow statehouse reporter Morgan Trau on





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