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By Will Bauer
Nebraska Public Media (PBS, NPR), July 22, 2022

Thirteen years after the federal government last raised the federal minimum wage, a ballot initiative in Nebraska aims to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.

Petition organizers submitted nearly double the required number of signatures earlier this month to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office. The petition proposes gradually raising the minimum wage each year.

“I think Nebraska's graduated scale is fairly conservative and will be easy to hit,” said Mike Draper, who owns Raygun, a clothing and design store in Omaha. “And it's adequate for businesses to plan for.”

Raygun, one of many Nebraska businesses who’ve announced support for the petition, has expanded to seven locations across the Midwest since opening in 2005. ...

“On the macroeconomic scale, the thing the U.S. needs to worry about is the income gap,” Draper said. “Not for a moral reason, but because when you concentrate money in fewer hands it's going to slow down the movement of money, which slowly slows down the rest of the economy.” ...

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