Wage campaign reports financial backer | Arkansas Blog

Wage campaign reports financial backer

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Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the committee backing an increase in the state minimum wage, reported this month a $350,000 contribution from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington-based nonprofit that has funded advocacy campaigns for social and environmental causes around the country.

The money covered the remaining cost on the signature gathering campaign that put the wage increase on the ballot. It would increase the current $8.50/hour minimum to $11 by Jan. 1, 2021.

The campaign has spent about $475,000 and has about $30,000 still on hand. The campaign had gotten earlier contributions from the Fairness Project and the National Employment Law Project. Sixteen Thirty is led by Eriic Kesller, a venture capitalist whose philanthropy focuses on progressive causes.

An Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce-linked committee has been formed on the wage increase, which the chamber opposes, but hasn't yet reported fund-raising. The chamber will be busy — fighting the minimum wage, fighting term limits, fighting to protect corporations from lawsuits, fighting to have the corrupt legislature take over court rule-making. But the local chambers of commerce who help them can take comfort that in many cities, such as Little Rock, taxpayers will be subsidizing their salaries to wage these fights.

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