Bill would increase minimum wage to $10 an hour

Democratic lawmakers have introduced more legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $10 an hour over three years.
AP Wire
Apr 13, 2013

 

The current state minimum wage is $7.40 per hour.

The main sponsors of the legislation are Democratic Reps. John Switalksi of Warren and Rashida Tlaib of Detroit. They said raising the minimum wage would narrow income inequality and give residents "a chance at a better life."

A similar bill was introduced by Senate Democrats in February.

The measures have not been embraced by Republicans who control the Legislature nor Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. GOP legislative leaders say hiking the minimum wage would hurt employers' ability to hire people.

The current minimum wage last went up in 2008.

Comments

zwesterhouse

I'm not so sure about "hurting employers ability to hire" comment or hard-line stance taken by Republicans on this one. My friend works at one of Grand Havens biggest employers as a CNC Milling/MasterCAM machinist through Manpower, he uses MasterCAM and M-G codes. He makes $20/hr. That company has run adds since 2007 and cannot seem to get anyone who even knows how to turn the milling machines on. Dozens of interviewees and none could program a machine. They jack him (friend on Manpower) around while he is on Manpower by not hiring him on their payroll thus taking him off Manpower so he can get benefits. Turns out management wants to cut that wage to $10/hr. But they cannot find anybody. But they take a hard line on the 10/hr saying "all those jobs consist of is pushing buttons" But I'm sure the CEO"s just push buttons and make more than $10/hr. Bottom line is they cannot find workers because they pay so cheap. $10/ hr is nothing, its poverty, its working in a sweat shop. I don't understand this - maybe someone could explain it to me in plain English

Lanivan

Our Republican MI legislators might want to reconsider falling back on their old "if we do something productive for workers, it might hurt business" schtick.

Michigan is in dire need of revenue. For years they've cut social services and education funding, public employees and public services, and recently the corporate income tax rate by almost half. Although unemployment numbers are going down, much of it is explained by a greatly shrinking labor force. After cutting revenue sources for a decade, they now are desperate for over $1 billion in new revenue for infrastructure maintenance, and are proposing doubling the gas tax, raising the state sales tax from 6% to 8% (both bringing MI to the highest rates in the country), and raising license fees.

This is just one example. Turning Michigan into a Right to Work state will not help anyone. Years of study have yielded only one constant: 1.)Both union and non-union workers in RTW states consistently get lower wages/benefits; 2.) Tax revenues fall and and education usually is the area that gets cuts; 3.) Education gets the short end, which ultimately attracts low-paying business that has no need for well-educated workers, and shafts those high-paying businesses that need the skilled worker.

Already, MI business leaders have sent letters to Gov Snyder voicing their concern about the lack of quality workers due to a decade of education cuts and an exodus of workers to other states.

Raising the minimum wage to $10/hr would certainly help add to the revenue coffers. And let's not get too concerned about the effect on small business owners. It can be written into the legislation that small business owners of say, 6 employees or less, are exempt.

Corporate profits are at an all-time high - in fact, current figures show US corporations are sitting on $4.75 Trillion in cash. Up until the 1980's, corporate income tax made up 1/3 of federal revenues. Today the share is at 9%. Clearly, tax cuts on corporate profits have not led to increased investment or faster job creation.

An increase in the minimum hourly wage would signal that Michigan values it's work force, and believes they are trained, educated, and worth $10/hour to prospective employers. It might even help stem the exodus of workers fleeing Michigan for greener pastures.

 

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