Minimum wage, police insurance won't be on Minneapolis ballot

- The Minnesota Supreme Court orders are in: Minneapolis voters will not see ballot questions proposing a $15 minimum wage and a requirement for police officers to carry personal liability insurance.

$15 minimum wage

Earlier this month, the Minneapolis City Council voted against the minimum wage charter amendment petition after getting advice from the city attorney that the wage issue was more legally appropriate as an ordinance. But, interest groups supporting an increase in the minimum wage took the issue to Hennepin County District Court and Judge Susan Robiner ruled the wage decision should appear on the November ballot.

The City of Minneapolis appealed and the Supreme Court granted an emergency hearing. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the petition to place the minimum wage amendment on the ballot cannot be granted because the Minneapolis City Charter does not allow the submitting of ordinances by petition.

The Service Employees International Union released the following statement after the order came through:

"Because of the tireless efforts by workers and organizations who have fought so hard to ensure all workers are paid enough to support a family, namely CTUL, NOC and 15Now, residents and workers in Minneapolis understand that our city must act to address the crisis of racial and economic inequality that is limiting far too many families. We've all witnessed the massive growth in income inequality over the last three decades, and the Fight for $15 has been a leading charge to push back on this crisis facing working people, particularly women and people of color.

"We are committed to working with those leading this fight to make certain this is the beginning, not end, of the fight for a more equal and just Minneapolis. We are firmly in support of elected officials in the city taking a stand to address the crisis of racial and economic inequality that is holding Minneapolis back, and to pass an ordinance that lifts wages to $15, something we would like to see in the region and throughout the entire state of Minnesota.

"The Mayor and City Council members have a chance to take this energy and use it to craft an ordinance that will make Minneapolis a world class city for all families, something that will begin to close the painful gaps facing our city. We will be advocating for them to complete that process and pass an ordinance as soon as reasonably possible."

Police insurance

There’s been a group pushing for police officers to carry liability insurance in Minneapolis, but on Aug. 5 the City Council voted 9-3 against placing the issue on the November ballot. The group had gathered the required number of signatures to make it a ballot issue, but the city attorney ruled it would violate state law, advising council members to vote the measure down.

The Supreme Court ruled “the district court correctly decided that the proposed liability insurance amendment  is preempted by state law and, therefore, is improper and cannot be included in the Minneapolis City Charter.”

The Committee for Professional Policing put out a release in response to the decision. Group leaders released the following statements:

“The Supreme Court’s order is proof that the system is rigged. We were never given a chance,” said Dave Bicking, Chair of the Committee for Professional Policing.  “We know the Police Insurance Amendment is 100 percent legal.  The city’s arguments were dishonest.  But the system doesn’t want to be disrupted by ordinary folks just trying to participate in their government.”

“We’re not done. There is overwhelming demand by the community to end the harm caused by police misconduct and taxpayers are sick of bailing out brutal cops,” said Michelle Gross, Board Member of the Committee for Professional Policing. “The city and state are on the wrong side of history on this issue. We will bring police accountability to Minneapolis one way or another.”


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