Michigan House Republicans Prefer No Inflationary Ties To Minimum Wage

May 22, 2014

Republican wants to make sure state minimum wage doesn't get tied to inflation

A bill to boost Michigan's minimum wage would not be tied to inflation if a state House committee chair gets his way.

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The legislation would gradually boost the wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour over three years. After 2017, it would index the minimum wage to inflation.

That last provision is something House Government Operations Committee Chair Pete Lund doesn't want.

"I've never been a fan of that," said Lund, R-Shelby Township. "And I don't think that's good economics. I don't think that's good for job creation in the long run."

The top Democrat on the panel says he won't vote for a bill that does not tie the minimum wage to inflation - and he doesn't think others on his side of the aisle will either.

"These working class families, they need to have the purchasing power to make sure that the minimum wage today can also be the minimum wage that they can depend on tomorrow," said state Rep. Rudy Hobbs, D-Southfield. "And that's the piece - that's the most important piece for me."

Senate Bill 934 is a compromise bill that's meant to preempt a petition drive to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, including for tipped workers. Hobbs says it won't be much of a compromise if it does not tie the wage to inflation.

"We do want to see indexing, we want to see a reasonable minimum wage, or they can take it to the ballot," he said.

The legislation - with the inflation provision - got bipartisan support when it cleared the state Senate last week.