Raise Up Massachusetts rallied with supporters across the street from the State House Tuesday as it prepared to submit signatures to put a $15 minimum wage and paid family and medical leave on the 2018 ballot.
The coalition of labor, religious, and community organizations collected 274,652 signatures for the two petitions — 139,055 for a $15 minimum wage and 135,597 for paid leave — far more than the 64,750 required for each one.
The signatures have been certified by local municipalities and now must be approved by Secretary of State William F. Galvin in order to get on the ballot.
“We feel very strongly that the secretary of state will certify enough signatures that we would qualify because we turned in more than double the amount that was required,” said Lew Finfer, cochairman of Raise Up Massachusetts.
Currently, several bills are under consideration that would offer 12 to 16 weeks of paid time off to care for a sick family member or a new child and 26 weeks for an employee’s own illness or injury.
Another set of bills would increase the minimum wage by $1 a year over the course of four years, reaching $15 by 2021, and would increase the tipped minimum wage to the same amount over the course of eight years.
After the signatures are submitted, the Legislature has until the end of June to act on the issues. If it doesn’t, an additional 10,792 signatures must be collected for each question in order to put the issues on next November’s ballot.
Katie Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.