Minimum wage hike petition has enough signatures to be on fall ballot in Alaska

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A ballot initiative to increase Alaska’s minimum wage has enough signatures to be included on the November ballot.

As seen at the Division of Elections, the group needed 26,705, and submitted 31,719 qualified signatures. The signatures were spread out between a majority of House districts, as required. The exceptions were House Districts 37-40 and House District 7, which underperformed.

The group behind the ballot initiative is Better Jobs for Alaska, a project of the Outside dark-money group the Sixteen-Thirty Fund, which has been written about extensively on this website. The group’s chair is Ed Flanagan, of alaskans for a Fair Minimum Wage. Other financial supporters are the Fairness Project in Washington, D.C., and SEI’u 776 Alaska PAC of Anchorage. The AFL-CIO is also involved in the effort to raise the minimum wage.

Supporters of the ballot initiative filed their signed petitions on Jan. 10 with the Division of Elections. For the past six weeks, the division has been verifying signatures. 

Alaska’s minimum wage on Jan. 1 went from $10.85 to $11.73 an hour, as part of a ballot initiative passed by voters in 2014.

The proposed bill language for the new minimum wage is:

“An Act increasing the Alaska minimum wage to $13.00 per hour effective July 1, 2025, to $14.00 per hour effective July 1, 2026, to $15.00 per hour July 1, 2027 and to thereafter be adjusted annually for inflation; providing employees the ability to accrue up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year if their employers have 15 employees or more; providing employees the ability to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave if their employers have under 15 employees; and to prohibit employers from compelling employees to attend meetings regarding religious or political matters that are unrelated to their work.” 

Supporters say that the cost of living in Alaska is high and necessitates higher wages.

The entire bill language can be read at this link.

The Division of Elections and Better Jobs for Alaskans have not yet made an announcement about the signature threshold having been met.

Meanwhile, the ballot initiative to get rid of ranked-choice voting in Alaska has not been updated at the Division of Elections since Thursday, but Phil Izon, who is with Alaskans for Honest Elections, has notified supporters around the state that the signature threshold has been met. An announcement is expected next week.

37 COMMENTS

  1. Meanwhile all over Alaska, stores can’t find checkers, baggers, and they highly depend on customers to check themselves out.
    Does this minimum wage hike mean more people will seek Jobs??? Nope!
    Professional companies that need electricians and new construction bodies all over the state, are finding it very hard to find hard working people to take the many jobs that lay open.
    People have it way too good… They aren’t hungry for work because they are being CODDLED and cared for by someone. So unfortunately this wage hike in my opinion is a bandaid on a hemorrhaging gash.. What needs to change is the mindset of people. Get into a Vocational School where you can actually learn a trade.
    Will it happen? Not in today’s culture of Lazy. But one can hope!

    • The Apprenticeship process and trades are so difficult to get into at the State of Alaska Jobs center in Anchorage. I want to take off the week when the “free” week construction training Job center is offering. It has a prejudice its only available to military and veterans or those under 28. Things like that and preferences and prejudices impede the process.

  2. Stop this madness. Foolish people. This is a negative for all involved. These jobs are unskilled entry level training jobs. They are often ‘get experience first jobs’ that will be eliminated with forced higher wages. Yes, to increase wages eliminates jobs.

  3. This will not fix the shortage of entry level workers.I always started mine at least twice this and still had a shortage. Nobody wants to work and you can’t make them. Not at any pay. Find another solution.

  4. They won’t have to argue for a minimum wage hike because small businesses will shutdown while large companies eliminate jobs and switch to automated methods. McDonalds kiosks and self checkouts used to be jobs! Paying everyone the same eliminates incentive, reduces production, and you’re left with hiring employees that drag down customer service. There’s a reason why skilled labor makes more than unskilled labor. But dems have to learn everything the hard way, at the business owners expense.

    • Amen and another Amen. Well played! You have expressed what reality appears. very few wish to face facts,
      related to labor cost and results of both increasing wages (Cost to the seller) and increased attention to AI and computer replacement of human employees. You seen it in the manufacturing factory lines to your local grocery store. Tragic but stated honesty. Cheers, A.M.Johnson

  5. Wages sort themselves out. If a business can’t find employees because they don’t pay enough they either correct or go out of business. It’s all simple . This outfit pushing this is throwing up a smoke screen for something more sinister, watch your backside people.

  6. Everyone needs to vote “NO” on this one. At a time when our society is crumbling, “minimum pay increases” should be the last thing we talk about.

    • Yes we don’t need prices to go higher because as we know wages go up the product goes up and soon it will happen again.
      The cost to go to a restaurant has gotten way out of line with prices.

      • Going to restaurants has gotten way out of line ….imo.
        When I grew up it was a rare treat; that changed.
        About 20 yrs ago the US avg family started to eat restaurant/ to go/ fast food for over half their meals.
        We can cook & eat at home more, especially family’s w/ kids
        Wouldn’t hurt anyone.
        Let the wealthy pay the cooks & waiter well, life doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom.
        I sell on line ….
        I am not interested in having low prices, selling more & competing w/ the Chinese
        I want people w/ money to be my customers and sell less stuf for more $

  7. “Supporters say that the cost of living in Alaska is high and necessitates higher wages.” Which will drive the cost of living up even more…just like what happened the last time the minimum wage was artificially raised. Many entry level jobs are already paying above the minimum wage because they can’t find workers, this won’t help entry level minimum wage earners it will hurt them.

  8. Minimum wage petitions should be accompanied by price increase petitions. Example. Shall Alaska raise both the MW and the prices by 3% each?
    Since higher prices are a direct result of MW increases, it seems only fair.

  9. Sadly it would pass. Still we should vote No. it raises the cost of home prices too. I’m voting no.
    What is with Northwest people, Alaska just had a minimum raise increase after Covid. Employers hoped in vain for employees. You know how much my wage was before 2020? 11.75. Then after Covid it went to 15.75 now. I was prepared to work again at 11.75. It was expected. I was unexpected to hear my employer increased it to 15.00. You know what Is crazy, we had more people willing to work at 11.00 dollars than after the four dollar increase. Crazy!!? right!!?

    People who aren’t happy at the wage they work at today will NEVER be happy at any wage. To them what they earn never would be enough!

  10. I want to move out of Alaska. It’s not in God’a will for me, yet. He needs me to keep working here, praying for this place, and serving Him here. Another minimum wage increase! It really makes me want to leave. The Alaskans still left behind can pay for the State’s bloated state and local governments.

  11. I predict more electronic (non-human) check out systems at retail and fast food stores. AI will continue to replace workers since machines don’t call in sick, steal form the company and complain they aren’t making enough!

  12. “As seen at the Division of Elections, the group needed 26,705, and submitted 31,719 qualified signatures. The signatures were spread out between a majority of House districts, as required. The exceptions were House Districts 37-40 and House District 7, which under performed.”

    In my reading, I am to understand that those three under performing districts must comply with the required percentage of signatures or the subject can not be placed on the ballot. All districts must submit a specific signatures goal. Will somebody confirm or correct me??

    • Unfortunately not accurate. I wish this didn’t make the ballot either but they need 10% total from the most recent election, so minimum 26,700 signatures. They also needed 30/40 House Districts, which they met.

      The district thing is a major barrier to entry for real citizen initiatives and has given the George Soros Dark Money partners an easy tool to manipulate Alaska.

      We will play their same game, we just do it 2% of the cost and cost them millions to fight us.

      It’ll work, watch RCV get repealed this fall. Thanks to all the wonderful Alaskans pushing to repeal the thing they fought all year to do.

  13. Get rid of the minimum wage, take down the free lunch sign at the border, and you can let in all the immigrants you want. The government thinks people are unable to negotiate their own pay.

  14. Just proof that the minimum voting age should be 21, not 18.

    Every person I saw pushing weed legalization, ranked choice, and min wage hikes…were all in that age group.

    People filled with “smart” ideas but not one lick of sense.

  15. And ! Masked Avenger and Convened Alaskan
    It’ll increase Alaskan employers whether in state or out of state property owners to begin evaluating which A-team employees they have to push more work on them so they can do with less employees.
    I’m personally coming to the breaking point I’d rather do rooms a day than train new employees only for them to quit shortly after hire date or them being too slow and being told I must help them after I turned over 15 rooms only to have to help them with five more.

  16. These are just Communists.
    The 56 hours paid for not working is disturbing, more so then the wage hikes.
    Most AK business’s pay more then that anyway.
    My son washes dishes in Sitka for $20/hour
    The Captain Cook pays dishwashers $19/hour.
    Vote no.

  17. I am all for people making a good living, but raising the minimum wage will only put more people out of work– and probably put some companies out of business.

  18. Listen it already costs $22.00 to go have a hamburger. And upwards of $36.00 for a decent dinner. This will wipe restaurants out for sure. Heck our great coffee stands are getting so expensive as it isyou flinch at stopping anymore. $5.oo to $8.oo for a drink is out of hand. Every time I stop at one I feel half guilty. What would my grandpa have said to me if he knew I was paying that much for coffee. Oofta.

  19. I would be curious to know if retail sales are way down or not. I have noticed people shopping at Carrs with their calculators out. I have not seen that in years. Groceries are insane expensive.

  20. And for all you numb skulls out there I guess you can ascertain who is going to pay the increase in wages. McDonald’s is already paying $18.50 and up. And it shows on the prices.

  21. I used to eat out all the time. But prices in restaurants are unaffordable these days. I mostly cook at home now and I have to admit I’ve become a very good cook. My burgers excel anything you could find in a restaurant or fast food place. Now and then I order food to go but I don’t tip the person who hands the to-go food bag to me. Shameless, I know. And on the rare occasion I do eat inside, I tip 15%, not the 25% suggested tip shown on the receipts. At that amount I could just give the server an option of sitting down and enjoying the dinner with me.

  22. California increased their minimum wage for certain industries and businesses of 500 employees or more (never figured that one out) to $20/hour. Pizza Hut fired most of its delivery drivers and customers now have to either carry-out or use a free standing food delivery services.
    So all these people are now out of work…..what was the point of raising the minimum wage again????

  23. Union goon thugs (see Ed Flanagan) will use any increase in the minimum wage to argue for a representative increase for high paid union workers.
    For the math-challenged, the proposed hikes equate to more than a 10% increase in the first year and 7-8% increases for each of the following 3 years. And this doesn’t account for the cost increase for mandatory paid vacation time in the first year. This will effectively create pressure for employers to increase wages for higher paid employees to the tune of 30% over the next 3 years. Where on earth will businesses get the money? They will have to charge more or hire fewer employees.
    I suppose they (Flanagan and his dark money socialist donors) can claim this is actually going to reduce inflation more than Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” did.
    If you like to see small businesses struggle and to pay more for just about everything, this initiative is for you. 😉

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