Organizers protest Republican minimum wage bill

Advocates of raising Michigan's minimum wage pushed back Tuesday on a competing Republican bill to raise the wage, calling the measure "trickery" and saying it would silence voters.
AP Wire
May 14, 2014


Representatives of the Raise Michigan coalition said a bill introduced last week by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, would undermine their push to have voters decide whether to raise the minimum wage from $7.40 to $10.10 by 2017 through a ballot initiative. The campaign has collected more than the 258,000 signatures needed for a measure to appear on the November ballot to amend current law, spokeswoman Danielle Atkinson said.

Richardville's bill would raise the minimum wage to $8.15 by repealing the existing wage law and enacting a new one, which would render the ballot initiative moot.

"Senate Republicans are trying to circumvent the process in the middle of the game to avoid an unwanted result," Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, said. "The voters deserve to be heard on this issue — it's very important. And to try to silence their voice, it's nothing but the kind of trickery that we've seen over the last couple of years."

Democrats have said changing the limit to $8.15 an hour would not help minimum-wage earners get out of poverty.

Richardville, who previously said he wouldn't support raising the minimum wage, said his bill is a proactive compromise and doesn't aim to undermine voter will. He said $8.15 is a "reasonable" target to offer at the start of negotiations.

"The people have spoken. The people say we want to look at minimum wage in Michigan," Richardville told reporters. "Great, the people that they elected said, 'Ok, we can buy that, let's have a debate about it, let's talk about it. Let's do it in a reasonable way with something that can be vetted, talked about publicly, and then make a change.'"

Raise Michigan organizers are consulting lawyers about responding to Richardville's bill, but they'll keep collecting signatures until the deadline at the end of the month, Atkinson said. Their goal is to collect 360,000 signatures.

Other proposed legislation would raise the minimum wage by changing current law, rather than repealing it. A bill by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, would increase the wage to $8.15 and wouldn't directly affect the ballot initiative. Rep. Margaret O'Brien, R-Portage, introduced a similar bill in the House on Tuesday.


Harry Kovaire

Why $8.15 or $10.10? Why a minimum hourly wage at all? It's completely arbitrary, so let's make it $50 so anyone working full-time can make a decent, 6-digit income.

Then let's create a maximum wage too. We should make it $50 just to be equal. Everything should be fine then.


LOL - A maximum wage. Ruh Roh, someone's already thought of that - (Obama: “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money”)

"When the ailing Fidel Castro ceded power to his less doctrinaire younger brother Raúl in 2008, the quasi-capitalist bubble expanded, but the economy remains heavily socialist. In the United States, we have a minimum wage; Cuba has a maximum wage—$20 a month for almost every job in the country. (Professionals such as doctors and lawyers can make a whopping $10 extra a month.)"

The Last Communist City by Michael J. Totten, City Journal Spring 2014


Right - Hahaha! When it comes right down to it, why even have guaranteed wages? I didn't! Throughout nearly my entire working career, I worked to get myself and husband through college, helped raise a family, manage a household, and meet financial obligations without a guaranteed wage/salary. I was responsible each and every working day to make a wage materialize. If I can do it, why can't everybody else?

Of course, I was blessed with good health, energy, ambition, self-motivation, a supportive family, colleagues, and clientele, a love for the work I was doing and belief that I was a productive member of society, and a recipient of lots of luck. Isn't everybody?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, while comments here bemoan the need for, the amount of, and fear of the consequences of an increase in the minimum wage, life moves on. Some facts, if anyone is interested:

*38 states have considered minimum wage bills during the 2014 session; 34 states are considering increases to the state minimum wage.
*Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia, and D.C. have enacted increases so far in 2014.
*The legislatures in Hawaii and Vermont have passed increases; both bills have been sent to the respective governors.
*As of Jan. 1, 2014, 21 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.
*19 states, Guam, and the Virgin Islands have minimum wages the same as the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
*4 states, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico have minimum wages below the federal minimum wage (the federal minimum thus applies).
*1 state, New Hampshire, repealed their state minimum wage in 2011, but left the reference to the federal minimum wage.
*5 states have not established a state minimum wage.

Tri-cities realist

You should have stopped typing after your first paragraph. You don't need to feel guilty about your success which came through hard work and determination. If everyone abandoned the victim mentality, things would be much better.

Mystic Michael

If all employers paid a fair salary or a fair wage in exchange for the hard work and determination of their employees, things would be much better.

Mystic Michael

David & Charles Koch are the fourth wealthiest people in America - worth $36 billion. They spend their time - and their fortune - buying up Republican politicians, so they can undercut this nation's environmental laws, its labor laws, and its social safety net - all in an attempt to increase their profits and reduce their tax liability - so they can turn a humungous net worth into a gargantuan net worth.

At the end of the day, what is the point? How much money do Dave & Chuck really need to live good, prosperous, happy lives? When is "enough" ever enough?

Sheldon Adelson is the 11th richest person in America, at a net worth of $28.5 billion. He's likewise engaged in buying up as many Republican politicians as he can get - witness the humiliating spectacle of Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, etc. lining up to kiss Sheldon's ring a few weeks ago.

Adelson's cash cow is the casino business. His current obsession is to get online gaming banned, so he can eliminate the online competition - and thereby become even wealthier. He's a gambling baron! What possible good, other than employing a bunch of people, does his business do for the human family? In what way is it contributing to our health, our happiness, our prosperity (especially to our prosperity)?

Besides, the guy is 80 years old! What is he going to do with all the extra money he gets by stacking the deck in his own favor? At a certain point, doesn't this cease being about building a family nest egg, and deteriorate into simply playing the game - for the challenge of playing the game? And is that not the very essence of decadence?

At least Bill Gates got it right: Since he's made his fortune, he's been putting it to good use - to help other people!

The President raised a very good point: Just because something is legal, doesn't necessarily make it moral. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD.

Mystic Michael

It isn't arbitrary at all. That's just the usual right-wing rhetoric, intended to make the perfect the enemy of the good. These kinds of numbers can EASILY be calculated on the basis of such statistics as average wage per industry per state for a given period of time, average cost of living per state or region, the rate of inflation during this same time period vs the minimum wage that has prevailed concurrently, etc. It's really not that difficult.

A new minimum wage of $10.10/hour actually represents a very reasonable correction to a law that hasn't realized an increase - in inflation-adjusted dollars - for the past 40 years. I'd say we are way, way overdue. Nobody's gonna get rich on this raise. But a lot of people who continually labor in poverty will at least have a little more breathing room with which to pay their bills - and continue to survive.

Your "maximum wage" nonsense is a complete red herring. Nobody's even thinking in terms of making everybody "equal", let alone actually proposing such a thing - other than you and your right-wing buddies who like to muddy the waters in order to confuse people.

Very simply, it's about introducing an element of compassion (not to mention economic stimulus) into the economy, in order to compensate somewhat for the brutality of market capitalism that uses and abuses human beings as if they were raw materials. Hey, who knows? Some of Walmart's employees might even be able to afford to get off public assistance, so they can support their families 100% with their jobs.


How do people get so low that they begrudge giving the lowest paid people a raise? It sure isn't Christian. These same people are for cutting aid for the poor and social security for the old. They block jobs, and pollute our air and water. They are the people that feed off the working people and care for nothing but their money. I feel sorry for you as Judgment day will come and you will learn the error of your ways.


Funny, I never realized that Christianity defines charity as taking care of the less fortunate by force using other people's money; that people like myself, who object to statism, socialism, and taking away individual freedoms and liberty necessarily desire to block jobs, pollute the very air that I, my wife, my children and grandchildren breath, and the water that they drink. I never realized that we feed off the working people - it seems to me the people who abuse welfare, who have never worked, who game the Earned Income Tax Credit, who wrongfully collect Social Security Disability along with politicians, union bosses, and hedge fund plutocrats are the ones that "feed off the working people."

In that regard, I refer you to Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire who has blackmailed the democrats and Obama by threatening to withhold $100,000,000 in campaign contributions if they don't support the global warming scam and don't oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.

"During Steyer’s tenure, Farallon helped finance coal project acquisitions in Indonesia and Australia valued at more than $2 billion and covering some of the region’s biggest mines, some of which swiftly ramped up production afterward, according to a close examination by Reuters of company disclosures and interviews with people involved in the deals.

While Farallon has not made public its shares in these deals, sources familiar with the fund’s dealings say they amounted to at least several hundred million dollars."

I hope your inside track on Judgment Day inures to your benefit; at least it must be comforting to know that there is no possibility for error in YOUR ways. Godspeed, my friend.


"Begrudge giving the lowest paid people a raise?"

What the heal do you mean? They all have an opportunity to increase their take home pay every day they go to work! How you ask? You stand out, work hard and give more than you're required. If after proving yourself and you do not get more money or a promotion...move on! If your sitting around in an entry level job trying to support a family and waiting for the minimum wage to get moved up. ..your stuck on stupid!


Nobody is begrudging anyone a raise.
There a some serious problems with raising the minimum wage by a large amount.
Yes this is a large amount, someone making $7.85 at 40 hours is $312.00 per week,
$10.10 at 40 hours is $404.00 per week.
For most small business's they will find a way to let one in four employee's go. To keep thier payout the same.
Large business will push the extra cost onto you and the rest of us. & when you give every minimum wage earner an extra $92.00 per week, demand will go up as well (inflation)
Keep in mind most (not all) minimum wage jobs are unskilled entry into a company and usually reviewed for a raise after 30 to 90 days for a raise of what they are worth to that company by the work achieved. Or they are seasonal even after school jobs fall into minimum wage. Most of the time.
The dem's can raise the minimum wage to what ever they want. Within month's inflation will catch up.
What does a business do about the people that have worked hard for them already?
Are they supposed to give all of them an extra hundred dollars a week too?


I hope so l could sure use it.


The truth hurts, don't it. Your day will come and we will see who is wrong.

Harry Kovaire

Careful, maybe you will be excluded for being so judgmental.


We don't need to raise the minimum wage however companys should start paying a living wage to their good workers or unions will start picking up business again.


Let me make this simple
People get paid for the job they perform
If your worth $10.10 an hour you get paid $10.10 an hour. If your work is only worth $7.85 an hour then that's what you get paid
I don't think you have a very good grasp on how this will end up. Raising the minimum wage costs everybody more at the grocery store, the gas pumps and your utility's even the business's that employ these people will only raise their prices for goods & services. The people who benefit from raise will only see all of there expenses rise ( food, gas, clothing) so they will net even
Meanwhile your expenses went up too.
"Get it"

It has nothing to do with being christian, it is simple. Raising the minimum wage cost everyone including those who's wage's go up
The only one who benefits is government in the form of collecting taxes on a higher dollar amount.
You may want to look into what the "TRUTH" really is and what it all entails
Before it bites you in the arse.


People do not get paid for the job they perform. Some of the lowest paid people work harder than people who get lots more. We have collage graduates working in fast food jobs because Republicans have sent jobs overseas. Any true Christian would make sure they paid their workers a fair wage, so this is a Christian issue. Republicans have sold their souls to the GOP to get rich off the sweat of the working man. The truth is, Republicans don't care about people. Even our people who have served this country are left with out jobs, homes and medical care. Greed is the Republican creed. It's all for the rich and nothing for the poor. When CEO's make millions companies can afford to pay more to the people who do the work. Company greed raises prices, not wages. The minimum wage will be raised eventually so this is a useless discussion.

Tri-cities realist

It is astonishing that some people seem to understand the free market when they are shopping, by seeking out the best deal, a balance of quality and price which suits their need, yet when it comes to labor, they don't think the same principles apply.


Simple, eliminate minimum wage, eliminate compulsory education, eliminate welfare. Schools instantly improve because education leads to higher pay. Jobs return because manufacturing comes back from China. Unemployment goes to zero because if you don't work you don't eat. Now you can be all you want to be based entirely on your own effort and contribution. Simple.


Why do schools improve, people who do not want to be there are not made to or forced to attend.
Why do jobs return, with a globally competitive wage not a mandated minimum, manufacturing returns to save on shipping costs.
Why does unemployment go to zero, because if you don't work at the factory you starve.
Education will become valuable. Jobs are available to all. The necessity to contribute will return.


You're just so mean....are you saying that people must take charge of their destiny and not wait for someone to arbitrary give them a raise!! Why what would the left use to get votes and power if they cannot exploit this human weakness!

Granting a raise without the connection of performance just further disconnects those that need to understand it the most. Output=$....performance =$. If you are truly performing in your job and are not advancing thru pay scales, you need to take your skills elsewhere because the place you work for is not a good employer. There are many good business that are looking for qualified people and will recognize and pay for your skill.

Harry Kovaire

"Capitalism is surely the worst economic system, except for all the others that have been tried."

Capitalism feeds.
Socialism kills.


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