Voters in two conservative states will have the chance to give hundreds of thousands of workers a pay raise in November. Ballot initiatives in Arkansas and Missouri would boost wages for nearly 1 million low-wage workers, whose incomes have hardly budged even as the US economy continues to grow.


It’s also a response to congressional inaction on the issue — lawmakers in Washington, DC, haven’t raised the $7.25 federal minimum wage in nearly 10 years.

“We can’t expect workers to wait for lawmakers to get their shit together,” said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of the Fairness Project, a nonprofit in DC that helped put the measures on the state ballots.

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