ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - To increase Albuquerque's minimum wage by a dollar, Organizers in the Land of the Enchantment (OLE) gathered more than 25,000 signatures, more than 12,000 of which were certified by the city clerk.
Under the city charter, that should've been enough to get the issue on the November ballot.
But a pair of issues is putting everything on hold, and now a judge will likely get the final word as to whether voters will get their say on a minimum wage hie Nov. 6.
The first is a typo in one line of the proposal that mixes up "employers" with "employees", something that would dramatically change the meaning of that line.
The second is slightly more complicated.
The city charter says once the petitions for an initiative like the one OLE used are submitted, the city clerk has 10 days to certify the signatures. After that, city council has two weeks to act on it or the proposal goes on a ballot 90 days from when it was submitted.
No action was taken at Wednesday's city council meeting so according to the charter, voters should get a say before November 9.
However under state law, city council needs to pass an election resolution to put the issue on the ballot, something it hasn't done yet.
Bernalillo County clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she needs to certify the November ballot by next Tuesday, although there's some time before absentee and military ballots go out for changes to be made.
That ticking clock put enough pressure on OLE to sue the city for violating its own charter late Thursday afternoon.
Part of the confusion comes from the rarity of the city charter provision being used by OLE. City clerk Amy Bailey says the process has only been used one other time. The issue was another attempt at a minimum wage hike.
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