GOP-Led Michigan Hikes Minimum Wage to $9.25

Move heads off petition that would have pushed it to $10.10

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 28, 2014 6:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation yesterday to raise the state's minimum wage by 25% gradually over the next four years to $9.25 an hour, as Republicans controlling the state government moved to head off a November ballot measure that could have raised pay even more. The move came a day before a group of labor and community organizers planned to submit 300,000 signatures calling for a Michigan ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The current hourly minimum is $7.40; the Detroit Free Press notes that some workers could see a pay hike by Sept. 1.

"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," says a rep for Raise Michigan, which is leading the ballot drive and still plans to turn in the signatures today. The Michigan House voted 76-34 and the Senate 24-12 for the bill. Roughly half the Republicans in the Legislature voted for it, along with most Democrats. "It’s great to see success like this in the Legislature," said Snyder, a Republican who's up for re-election. "This was a great exercise in bipartisanship." The legislation includes a provision requiring the minimum wage to grow annually with inflation by up to 3.5% starting in 2019. It also would increase the wage for workers who get tips to 38% of the minimum wage, from $2.65 currently, to $3.52.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder during the Legislative Luncheon at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor on April 21, 2014.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder during the "Legislative Luncheon" at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor on April 21, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Muskegon Chronicle, Ken Stevens)
President Obama sits between Mira Friedlander, a  University of Michigan senior, and Aisha Turner, 36, who has worked for nearly two decades as a server, at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014.
President Obama sits between Mira Friedlander, a University of Michigan senior, and Aisha Turner, 36, who has worked for nearly two decades as a server, at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., April...   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Residents gather during a minimum wage rally outside the district offices of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., in St. Joseph, Mich., Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Residents gather during a minimum wage rally outside the district offices of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., in St. Joseph, Mich., Tuesday, April 1, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell)
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