A group backed by the dark-money Sixteen Thirty Fund turned in about 41,000 signatures to the Alaska Division of Elections, which means the group likely has the required amount to advance a ballot question to voters: Shall Alaska’s minimum wage be set at $15 an hour?
Alaska’s Minimum Labor Standards Initiative, as it’s called, would increase the Alaska minimum wage to $13 an hour in 2024, and to $14 an hour in 2026, and then to $15 an hour in 2027. After that it would be adjusted for inflation. The initiative would allow employees the ability to accrue up to 56 hours of paid sick leave for year if their employers have 15 employees or more, and up to 40 hours of paid sick leave if their employers have 15 employers or less. The initiative also prohibits employers from compelling employees to attend meetings regarding religious or political matters unrelated to their work.
Primary sponsors include Rep. Genevieve Mina, Ed Flanagan, and Carey Fristoe.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund has meddled in Alaska politics for years, including opposing the constitutional convention and supporting Forrest Dunbar for mayor of Anchorage. It’s also opposed the Pebble Project. The Sixteen Thirty Fund is a Democrat “dark money” group that bankrolls left-of-center candidates and organizations around the country, and is managed by Arabella Advisors, a company with ties to the Democratic Party.