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MN Supreme Court Reverses Mpls. Minimum Wage Judgement, Won't Be On Ballot

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed the judgement of a Hennepin County District judge, who ruled that the $15 minimum wage measure should go to a city-wide vote in November.

Earlier this year, the group "15 Now" collected 20,000 signatures on a petition calling for a city-wide vote in November to create an amendment to the Minneapolis city charter that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The petition was brought before the Minneapolis City Council and was denied, as the city attorney found the minimum wage was to be regulated via ordinance, and not appropriate as a charter amendment. The group then filed a lawsuit.

Last week a Hennepin County judge ruled against the city, saying the matter could be addressed as a charter amendment and compelled election officials to include the measure on the November ballot. The city quickly appealed the ruling.

On Tuesday the case went to the Minnesota Supreme Court, where justices heard arguments from both sides.

On Wednesday the Minnesota Supreme Court announced a reversal the district court's decision, with direction to dismiss the petition and to enter judgement in favor of the city's appeal. With no higher court to appeal, the charter amendment and petition are effectively dead.

Still, after the city council initially denied the ballot measure, council members directed staff to research an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage. Those findings will be presented in early 2017.

The Minnesota Supreme Court did affirm the lower court's decision to block a police liability insurance proposal from the ballot.

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