- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A proposal to gradually raise Arkansas’ minimum wage is one step closer to appearing on the November ballot after petitions for the measure passed an initial signature count.

Secretary of State Mark Martin said Wednesday an initial count found that 64,000 signatures were submitted for the proposed initiated act backed by Give Arkansas a Raise Now. The group needs 62,507 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

The office is now checking to make sure the signatures are from registered voters. Clearing the initial count means supporters of the measure can have 30 more days to gather additional signatures if they fall short during the verification stage.

The proposal would raise Arkansas’ minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017.

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