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$15 minimum wage can't be put on the Nov. ballot, Mpls. city attorney says

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Minneapolis residents pushing to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour were dealt a setback by the City Attorney Thursday.

A petition supporting the higher wage has 20,000 signatures, which is enough to put the question on the November ballot if certain legal terms and conditions are met.

But City Attorney Susan Segal says they might not be.

According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the City Council asked Segal for her opinion on the matter, and she responded in 16-pages.

She explained that the minimum wage is not a topic that can be petitioned and then voted on.

Citizens can change the "establishment, administration or regulation of city government" that way. But Segal says the minimum wage proposal is technically an ordinance – not something that can be altered by a vote of citizens.

"The proposed amendment is not a proper subject for a charter amendment and the Council should decline to place the provision on the ballot," the city attorney says.

The Star Tribune says the City Council will discuss the issue and take a final vote on what to do with it on Aug. 5.

Supporters have said they'll take legal action if Minneapolis doesn't put the wage increase on the ballot, the paper adds.

Vote for 15 MN, the group that submitted the petition, says it wants employers in the city to pay a minimum of $10 an hour starting in 2017, increasing to $15 an hour by 2020.

That's only for employers with more than 500 workers.

Businesses with fewer have until 2022 to get there, under the proposal.

You can read the entire proposed amendment here.

Minnesota's minimum wage will increase Aug. 1 by 50 cents.

Minimum wage for those working for large employers will go up to $9.50 an hour. Wages for those working for small employers will increase to $7.75.

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