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.
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
- 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?