States' Voters Resolved Wide Range of Public Health Issues


Voters in Nevada rejected a similar-sounding initiative that would have prevented local counties and towns from passing stricter regulations related to smoking.

Ohio voters took similar action on two of their ballot questions. They passed a proposal to prohibit smoking in a number of public places and rejected a proposal that would have called for similar prohibitions on smoking but would have stricken from the books any stricter local laws on smoking.

Voters in Florida passed a constitutional amendment to use tobacco settlement money to fund a statewide tobacco education and prevention program. Voters in South Dakota passed a measure to increase taxes on cigarettes and dedicate a portion of those funds to tobacco-prevention programs. In California and Missouri. initiatives that would have increased taxes on cigarettes failed.

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage hikes passed in all six states where they were proposed, raising the minimum wage as high as $6.85 per hour in Ohio and Colorado.

The federal minimum wage is set at $5.15 per hour but about half the states have higher minimum wage laws. Washington state has the highest minimum wage among the states at $7.63 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voters raised the minimum wage to $6.50 in Missouri, $6.15 in Montana, $6.75 in Arizona, $6.85 in Ohio, and $6.85 in Colorado. In Nevada, voters approved a dual minimum wage scale:$5.15 if an employer provides health insurance, $6.15 without the health insurance benefit.

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