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Legislature's End Run Kills Minimum Wage Petition Drive, Raises Wage to $9.25

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign legislation approved in the House and Senate that repeals the old minimum wage law and replaces it with a new one, a pre-emptive strike against the Raise Michigan Coalition's ballot initiative.

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to immediately sign minimum wage legislation that thwarts a petition drive by the Raise Michigan Coalition to put the issue before voters in November.
Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to immediately sign minimum wage legislation that thwarts a petition drive by the Raise Michigan Coalition to put the issue before voters in November.

A bill that would raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $9.25 an hour by 2018 – potentially thwarting supporters of a ballot measure that would boost pay to $10.10 – is headed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s office for his signature.

The legislation, which is linked to the rate of inflation in Midwestern states, passed the House on a 76-34 vote and the Senate by a 24-12 margin, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The last time the minimum wage was increased in Michigan was in 2008, when it went to the current $7.40 per hour.

The link to the rate of inflation means the minimum wage can’t increase by more than 3.5 percent a year. Tipped employees, who currently earn a minimum wage of $2.65 per hours, would get $3.51 per hour under the proposal.

Raise Michigan Coalition, which has been gathering signatures to put the issue before voters in a November ballot measure, wants a guarantee that tipped workers would eventually earn the full minimum wage, receiving annual incremental raises of 85 cents an hour until they gain parity with other workers.

The group still plans to turn its signed petitions over to the Michigan Secretary of State on Wednesday, Raise Michigan’s Frank Houston, state director for the Restaurant Opportunities Center, told the Detroit Free Press. The group needs 258,088 signatures from registered voters and has secured many more than that, Houston said.

A poll conducted for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) showed 56 percent of Michigan residents surveyed support a ballot measure, while 39 percent opposed it.

But poll respondents didn’t like the pre-emptive strike by Republican lawmakers that repeals the 1964 minimum wage law and replaces it with another – meaning the law Raise Michigan wants to change no longer exists, the Free Press said in an analysis of the poll results.

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Fifty-four percent of respondents said they disapproved of that tactic, while 29 percent supported it.

Bernie Porn, president of EPIC/MRA, said the end-run could cost legislators in November.

“There is such a fear among Republicans of having a (minimum wage) ballot proposal in November, that they’re trying to figure out a way to avoid that from happening,” Porn told the newspaper. “The blatant way they’re dealing with it — by eliminating the law — is meeting with great disfavor, even among Republican (respondents).”

When asked if they preferred a minimum wage of $10.10 or $9.20, respondents were evenly split, with 39 percent favoring the higher wage and 38 percent supporting $9.20 an hour. However, 18 percent said the minimum shouldn’t be increased.

The poll of 600 likely voters, conducted May 17-20 by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

As lawmakers were rushing to pass the compromise legislation, the Raise Michigan Coalition held a rally

Tell Us:

  • What's your opinion on all of this? Should the minimum wage be raised to $9.20 per hour, $10.10 per hour or some other amount, or should it be left alone?
Dale Murrish May 28, 2014 at 05:30 PM
Rick Snyder continues to impress with his business-like approach to controversial economic issues, confounding the left. The Right to Work law went down much more smoothly than Wisconsin. No change despite dire predictions and threats of reprisals in the voting booth, except that the power of public-sector unions who feed off the taxpayers who pay their bills was weakened long-term. This law seems like a reasonable compromise on the minimum wage. I predict Snyder will win re-election, as Michiganders remember the Granholm years. Economic growth beats left-wing ideology, which favors the few, while ultimately hurting those it claims to help. Equal misery for all!
Dale Murrish May 28, 2014 at 05:31 PM
Agree with RON that we need to avoid oligarchy, but America is far from Russia in that. Instead, President Obama is trying to transform America into European democratic socialism (Sweden and Germany work well because most of the people there have a good work ethic), and hopefully will be restrained in the 2014 mid-terms and 2016.
K. Scott May 28, 2014 at 05:46 PM
Hey Dale, shut your yapper. You work for GM and you complain about abortions and all types of things, but you still take your paycheck from a company that covers up or doesn't care about customers dying. You are the epitome of hypocrisy.They did this as an end run around a petition drive that silenced the peoples vote and you support that hypocrisy. You are pathetic.
Racer Boy May 29, 2014 at 05:30 AM
Cheryl- You obviously have never been in France or know anything about the country. Successful people here are leaving by the thousands to avoid the newest level of Government imposed taxation...now 75% for those that work hard to succeed. I am here doing work for my Detroit-based business which is amply taxed by our Federal Government so as to support the 50% of Americans who pay no Federal tax at all.

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