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.   (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...   (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.   (AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell)
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