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Judge Rules In Favor Of $15 Minimum Wage Vote In Mpls.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In November, voters will decide whether minimum wage in the city of Minneapolis will be raised to $15 an hour.

Earlier this year, a group of community members, "15 Now," collected nearly 20,000 signatures from residents in favor or putting raising minimum wage on the November ballot in Minneapolis.

It was turned in but rejected by the City Council earlier this month after the City Attorney said she didn't believe it belonged on the ballot.

Attorney Susan Segal argued the petition did not meet legal qualifications. She said the proposal was "an ordinance disguised as a charter amendment," and a charter does not petition to pass city ordinances.

Shortly after the City Council voted down the referendum, the group filed a lawsuit. They  said it had gathered the amount of signatures needed for an amendment to put it on the ballot.

On Monday, Hennepin County Judge Susan Robiner agreed with the group and ordered to prepare a ballot for the Nov. 8 election that includes that amendment.

Segal issued a statement following the decision.

"We are pleased with the court's conclusion on the police liability insurance proposal, but respectfully disagree with the ruling on the minimum wage proposal. We are conferring with City leadership to determine the City's response."

The Minneapolis Downtown Council and Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce released a joint statement in reaction to the ruling. The statement read in part:

"We believe that the District Court ruling in this matter is wrong and we urge the City to appeal. The ruling creates an expansive and dangerous precedent and opens the door to initiative and referendum style governance in our City which is plainly not provided for by the Minneapolis Charter."

It is not clear if the city intends to appeal the decision.

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