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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Update on ballot initiatives

  • Secretary of State reports more signatures turned in for alcohol and minimum wage initiatives.
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  • Last week, Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin released updates on two ballot initiatives supporters are trying to get on the November ballot.
     
    The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment was short about 17,000 signatures after the initial verification process about a month ago.  Because organizers initially turned in the required number however, they were given an additional 30 days to gather more signatures.  During that time, organizers gathered 41,492 additional signatures and turned those on Friday.  The Secretary of State’s Office will now verify those signatures to determine if the requirements have been met.  If at least 17,000 of those are ruled valid, the threshold of 78,133 will be met and the initiative will go to voters this November.  This amendment will make alcohol sales legal in every Arkansas county.
     
    Organizers of the Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage turned in additional 69,070 signatures on Monday.  This initial verification process determined this initiative was 15,107 signatures short but, as with the alcohol initiative, they met the initial signature threshold and were given an additional 30 days to get more. The Secretary of State will now verify those additional signatures to determine if the initiative meets the 62,507 signature requirement to get on the ballot.  This measure would increase the Arkansas minimum wage to $8.50/hour by 2017.  Minimum wage in Arkansas is currently $6.25/hour, though the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour.
     
    A measure to make the use of recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas did not meet the initial signature requirements and will not appear on the ballot this November.

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