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Politics

Arkansas court blocks 'tort reform' measure, keeps wage hike

Cynthia Barnhill / KASU Photojournalim-Graphics Designer Intern
Cynthia Barnhill
/
KASU Photojournalim-Graphics Designer Intern

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' highest court has ordered election officials to not count votes for a proposal to limit damages awarded in civil lawsuits and rejected an effort to block an initiative to raise the state's minimum wage.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled on the two ballot measures Thursday, days before early voting begins for the Nov. 6 midterm election.

Justices upheld a state judge's ruling that the ballot measure limiting civil lawsuit damages unconstitutionally combined separate proposals. The measure also would have given the Legislature control over court rules in the state.

Justices rejected a separate lawsuit trying to disqualify the proposal to gradually raise Arkansas' minimum wage from $8.50 an hour to $11 by 2021. Opponents of the proposal had challenged some of the signatures submitted for the initiative.