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Minimum wage increase fails to make California's fall ballot

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An initiative to bump the minimum wage to 18 dollars-an-hour over the next three years – though bankrolled by a wealthy investor and backed by a slew of labor organizations – has failed to qualify for the November ballot.

The Secretary of State's office said not enough signatures had been verified by county election officials by the Thursday deadline to qualify the measure.

Triggered by the record rate of inflation – which in the past year has caused the biggest increase in the consumer price index in four decades – California's top-of-the-nation minimum wage already is set to increase to 15-and-a-half dollars-an hour next January.

Had the California Living Wage Act proposal succeeded, it would have increased it to 16 dollars next January and 18 dollars by 2025, after which the minimum wage would have adjusted annually to account for the cost of living.