A proposal to raise Missouri’s minimum wage is a step closer to making it onto the November ballot.

The group Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages turned in more than 210,000 signatures last Wednesday to the Secretary of State’s office. If passed, Missouri’s minimum wage would rise from the current $12.30 an hour to $13.75 an hour next year and to $15 an hour in 2026.

Terrence Wise, a self-described low-wage worker from Kansas City, is a leader within a separate group called Missouri Workers Center, which advocates for low-wage workers. He and the Missouri Workers Center support the ballot measure, though he said it still wouldn’t be enough.

“That’s not quite a living wage when you do the real math,” Wise told Missourinet. “I know where I live in Kansas City, Missouri, (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has done a study where a living wage for a family that consists of two parents and one child, a living wage is over $23 an hour.”

The proposed new minimum wage would also be tied to the consumer price index and rise each year as the current wage is. The proposed constitutional amendment would also require all employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

“Every year, members of the working class do get sick. It happens,” Wise said. “Not only that, but we have family members and children who get sick as well. It’s just being human. And (employers) have the ability to (provide) paid sick days where you don’t have to worry about missing a day of work and then falling behind on rent.”

In a press release, Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages said that about 115,540 signatures from six of eight Congressional districts have to be verified before the proposal can be added to the November ballot.

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