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Minimum wage, police insurance won’t be on the ballot in Minneapolis, court rules

Proposals to raise the minimum wage and require police to carry limited liability insurance won’t be on the ballot in Minneapolis this November.

In two separate opinions released Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court sided with the City of Minneapolis when it ruled the proposals didn’t meet the legal standards to amend the city’s charter, and the city council was correct in blocking the proposals from the November ballot.

Minimum wage

Supporters of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Minneapolis have claimed they collected enough signatures, so the issue should be brought to voters in the form of a question on the November ballot.

But the Minneapolis City Council voted no, with the city attorney saying it didn’t meet the legal requirements for a charter amendment.

Supporters sued, and the issue was brought to Hennepin County District Court, where a judge ruled in favor of the supporters.

The city appealed that decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which issued its ruling Wednesday. In the order, the state’s highest court said the Minneapolis’ charter doesn’t allow ordinances to be submitted by petition, so the proposal shouldn’t be on the ballot.

Police liability insurance

On the same day the Minneapolis City Council blocked the $15 minimum wage charter amendment, it also rejected an amendment that would require the city’s police officers to have professional liability insurance beyond what’s currently supplied by the city.

This was also brought to Hennepin County District Court, where a judge ruled in favor of the city. But supporters of the police liability insurance amendment appealed again, this time to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In the state Supreme Court’s order, it found the district court judge was correct when she ruled the proposed amendment is preempted by and in conflict with Minnesota law, so this issue should not be on the ballot either.

Both of the Minnesota Supreme Courts orders were released without details on the court’s opinion “as not to impair the orderly election process.” (There’s a strict deadline to get questions on ballots – read more about that here.)

The court’s opinions will follow, the orders say.

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