Despite Legislative Action, Group Continues Minimum Wage Ballot Push

A Massachusetts group isn’t stopping its campaign to raise the minimum wage through a ballot question, even after House Speaker Robert DeLeo brought the legislature one step closer to raising the wage on its own this week.

Speaker DeLeo’s proposal would raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour by 2016. That’s 50 cents less than what the Senate passed in November, but it matches a proposal by a group called Raise Up Massachusetts. Spokesperson Steve Crawford says right now, movement on Beacon Hill doesn’t affect the push for a ballot initiative.

“We need to begin collecting a second round of signatures the first week in May,” Crawford says, “and we’re already mobilizing to get our ground troops ready to do that.”

Crawford declined to say whether the group would end its efforts if a bill passes the legislature. He notes both the Senate and Raise Up Massachusetts’ proposals tie the minimum wage to inflation after 2016. DeLeo’s proposal does not.