Ohio business review

Campaign to Raise Ohio’s Minimum Wage Gains Approval to Collect Signatures for 2024 Ballot

Advocates in Ohio have received approval from the Ohio Ballot Board to collect signatures for a ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by November 2024.

The Raise the Wage Ohio initiative was authorized by the five-member Ohio Ballot Board as a single issue rather than several issues. The formal step enables supporters to gather the 413,446 valid signatures required for the group to qualify for the ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment, put forth by Raise the Wage Ohio, would increase the minimum wage to $12.75 an hour starting from January 1, 2025, and then to $15 an hour on January 1, 2026. 

Subsequent increases would be indexed to inflation, and the amendment would also repeal provisions that currently allow minors and people with disabilities to be paid less than the minimum wage.

Proponents of the measure argue that it is necessary to support Ohio’s lower-income workers, while opponents, including Ohio Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve Stivers, claim that it would have negative economic consequences and be difficult to rectify once implemented.

“The proposed minimum wage amendment to the Ohio Constitution is not only ill-advised and economically detrimental,” said Steve Stivers, CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “Once the unintended consequences occur, it would also be nearly impossible to correct.”

As of the end of 2023, the National Employment Law Project reports that six states, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, are projected to have minimum wages set at or above $15.

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