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Activists for a $15 minimum wage, including former Parkland student David Hogg, collect signatures in Boston, Mass. Photo: Paul Marotta via Getty Images

The fight to raise the minimum wage in the U.S. has found its way onto ballot referendums in several states as progressives seek ways to circumvent GOP-controlled legislatures that have largely been opposed to such measures.

The big picture: Most states have implemented minimum wages that exceed the $7.25-an-hour rate that has been federal law for the last nine years, Axios' Steve LeVine writes. But according to a recent study from Oxfam, none of those minimums are sufficient to provide a living wage for a family.

By the numbers

Seven states have considered adding a ballot initiative to raise their minimum wage ahead of the November 6 midterm elections, according to Ballotpedia.

  • In Arkansas, voters will choose whether to raise the minimum wage from $8.50 to $11 per hour over a three-year period. A recent poll found that 60% of Arkansas voters support the measure.
  • In Missouri, the ballot measure proposes increasing the rate from $7.85 to $12 by 2023, with an $0.85 hike each year until then.
  • In Michigan, rather than allow voters to approve the measure themselves, the state legislature passed a bill to raise the minimum wage from $9.25 to $12 by 2020. However, critics argue that because the initiative will no longer appear on the ballot in November, the Republican-led legislature can vote to overturn the measure with a simple majority before it even takes effect. Overturning a ballot referendum, meanwhile, would have required a three-fourths majority.
  • In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker compromised with proponents of a ballot initiative by signing a bill to raise the minimum wage from $11 to $15 over five years, rather than four.
  • Campaigns in Florida, Washington and North Dakota all proposed ballot initiatives for 2018, but failed to submit signatures before the state deadlines.

Go deeper: None of the state minimum wages provide a family living wage

Most jobs created since the recession have been low-paying

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

10 hours ago - World

Putin to demand legal guarantee against NATO expansion in call with Biden

Biden and Putin meeting in Geneva in June. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east — including to Ukraine — and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Why it matters: Russia has massed more than 94,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and could be preparing for a large-scale invasion at the end of January, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.