Bill Signed to Raise Minimum Wage

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage by 25 percent gradually over the next four years from the current rate of $7.40 to $9.25 an hour. 

It is the first state with a Republican-led legislature to raise its minimum wage this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota and West Virginia have raised their minimum wages, as well as the District of Columbia. 

“This was a great exercise in bipartisanship and both chambers working together in close partnership, coming up with an agreement and executing on that,” Snyder said.  “It’s good for the hard-working people of Michigan.”

Labor and community organizers were planning to submit hundreds of thousands of petition signatures calling for a Michigan ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage.  The House and Senate passed the bill one day before that was slated to happen. 

The Michigan House voted 76-34 and the Senate 24-12 for the bill.  Roughly half of the Republicans in the Legislature voted for it, along with most Democrats.  Some Democrats said they voted no because they feel that the bill silences voters who signed the wage petition.

Overall, it was a difficult compromise for many in both parties to support.  

“We know this is the only Republican conservative Legislature to consider an increase in the minimum wage and that’s a direct result of our work on the campaign,” said Danielle Atkinson, a representative for Raise Michigan, which is leading the ballot drive.  The organization has stated that it will still turn in the signatures, as organizers feel an obligation to the roughly 300,000 people who signed the petition.  

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