BOSTON, Mass.—The Raise Up Massachusetts coalition submitted petitions Dec. 5 to put initiatives for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and paid family and medical leave on the November 2018 state ballot. “We feel very strongly that the secretary of state will certify enough signatures that we would qualify,” Raise Up Massachusetts cochair Lew Finfer told the Boston Globe at a rally by the State House. The coalition of labor, religious, and community organizations collected more than twice the 64,750 signatures required to make the ballot for each petition, with about 139,000 for the $15 minimum and 135,600 for paid leave. The petitions give the state Legislature until the end of June to pass measures that would raise the minimum and require paid leave. It’s currently considering bills that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2021, and by 2025 for tipped workers, along with others that would offer workers 26 weeks paid time off if they’re sick or injured and 12 to 16 weeks off to take care of an ill family member or a new child. If it doesn’t pass them, the coalition would need to collect an additional 10,792 signatures for each question to get them on the ballot.

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