Group to Push for Nebraska Minimum Wage Increase

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Supporters of a higher minimum wage in Nebraska are planning to gather signatures for a November ballot measure that would raise it to $9 an hour by 2016.  The group Nebraskans for Better Wages announced the petition drive on Wednesday. State Sens. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln and Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha are leading the effort, with help from the Holland Children's Movement and the Nebraska State AFL-CIO.  Nordquist says the response to the idea has been overwhelmingly positive. Supporters point to a January poll of Nebraskans, in which 60 percent of respondents said they favored raising the wage. A proposed increase was defeated in the Legislature this year.  Conrad says the wage increase will help rebuild the middle class and lessen reliance on public assistance.