Legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage all but ruled out, ballot drive likely
By Jake Neher
Legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage is not likely to go anywhere in 2014.
Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are not eager to take up bills to raise it above $7.40 an hour.
"It's a firm 'no' for me," said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. "I think that individual CEOs of companies in Michigan should make those decisions based on the marketplace, not some arbitrary law."
State House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, told the Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS) this week that he's skeptical about raising the minimum wage.
Democrats say the Republican leaders are ignoring the wellbeing of tens of thousands of Michigan workers.
"Certainly, to suggest that we don't need to do something to help those that are - they're out there, they're working, they're trying to contribute, but are being paid an amount that they simply can't live on - I don't think anyone should find that acceptable," said Robert McCann, spokesperson for Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing.
Supporters of boosting the minimum wage announced this week they plan to organize a campaign to put the question on the November ballot this year. The group wants to increase the rate from $7.40 an hour to somewhere between $9 and $10.10 an hour. The proposal would also index the minimum wage to inflation.