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Alaska voters could decide legislative term limits, minimum wage hike

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(The Center Square) – Alaska voters could get a voice in how Alaska’s minimum wage and how long legislative leaders serve in office.

A petition filed with the Alaska Division of Elections proposes to raise the state’s current $10.85 an hour minimum wage to $13 an hour by July 1, 2025. The pay would increase to $14 an hour in 2026 and $15 an hour in 2027.

The proposed bill would also require employers with more than 15 employees to give workers 56 hours of paid sick leave annually. Employers with fewer than 15 workers would be required to provide 40 hours.

The petition is one of several under consideration by Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom, whose position leads the state’s election division. She has until Sept. 3 to decide if petitioners can begin collecting signatures to place the issue on the ballot in 2024.

The lieutenant governor is also considering a proposed petition that would limit state legislators to no more than 20 years in office. The petition bars lawmakers from serving more than 12 consecutive years. A lawmaker can run for office again after six years have passed but would be limited to 20 years total.

If the petition were to pass, current legislators at the 12-year mark could not run again for six years, and those who served 20 years would be out of the Legislature permanently after finishing their current term.

Dahlstrom has until Aug. 22 to approve or deny the term-limit petition.

A petition to remove ranked-choice voting is currently circulating through Alaska. Alaskans for Honest Elections received approval for the petition earlier this year.

Nearly 76% of the needed 26,705 signatures to get the issue on the ballot are collected, the group said on its website.

Alaskans for Better Elections, which campaigned to get ranked-choice voting in Alaska, filed a complaint with the state Public Offices Commission, accusing Alaskans for Honest Elections of violating campaign finance laws. The group called the allegations baseless. Alaskans for Honest Elections also filed a complaint with APOC against Alaskans for Better Elections.

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