Minimum wage proposal needs 15,107 signatures

LITTLE ROCK — A group supporting a ballot proposal to raise the state minimum wage needs 15,107 more valid signatures of Arkansas voters to secure a spot on the ballot, Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office said Wednesday.

Martin’s office announced Friday that while verifying signatures submitted by the group Give Arkansas a Raise Now, it discovered that the group was short of the required 62,507 valid signatures. At that time the number of additional signatures the group needed had not been determined.

The proposed initiated act would raise Arkansas’ minimum wage gradually from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017.

Give Arkansas a Raise Now and another group, Let Arkansas Decide, have both qualified for a 30-day period to make up for insufficient signatures, according to Martin’s office. Let Arkansas Decide is seeking to place on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment to allow alcohol sales in every Arkansas county.

Both groups made their initial submission of signatures to Martin’s office on July 7. A group opposed to the alcohol measure, Let Local Communities Decide for Themselves, has argued that the deadline should have been July 4; Martin’s office has said it is a long-standing practice to delay election deadlines that fall on state holidays or weekends.