Voters across the United States decided on 31 ballot measure in six states during Monday’s elections.
In New Jersey, voters approved an amendment to increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.25, a 60 percent increase from the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Minimum Wage Increase Amendment also tied future increases to inflation. Both changes will be effective January 1, 2014. New Jersey joins 19 other states and the District of Columbia that have a higher minimum wage than the federal one.
In the city of SeaTac in Washington State, it seems that voters will approve raising the minimum wage as well, pending a final tally on November 26. From the nearly 4,000 votes counted so far, 53 percent are in favor of the raise, which would increase the current minimum from $9.19 per hour to $15 per hour for hospitality and transportation workers near or in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This initiative also requires paid sick leave and tip protection.
Voters in Royal Oak, Michigan passed an LGBT-inclusive human rights ordinance banning discrimination by 53 percent, becoming the 30th municipal in Michigan to pass a non-discrimination law like this one. The ordinance protects from discrimination based on sexual orientation, condition of pregnancy, marital status, and HIV status, among others.
Amendment 66 in Colorado, the Tax increase for Education Initiative, was defeated by about two-thirds of voters. The proposed constitutional amendment would have increased income taxes in order to supply an expected $950 million for public education, and $18 million of the funds would have gone toward capital projects for charter schools.
Media Resources: NJ.Com, 11/6/13; CNNMoney, 11/7/13; Detroit Free Press, 11/6/2013; Denver Post, 11/5/13; Denver Post, 10/14/13