Group gets go-ahead for minimum wage ballot drive

Organizers of a drive to gradually raise Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 to $10.10 an hour by 2017 and automatically increase it with inflation in future years got the green light Wednesday to collect signatures.
AP Wire
Feb 20, 2014

If the Raise Michigan group gathers roughly 258,000 valid signatures by late May, the proposed law would first go the Republican-led Legislature. Since GOP lawmakers are unlikely to embrace a minimum wage hike or to propose an alternative, the measure appears headed to a statewide vote in November assuming enough signatures are secured.

The minimum wage for tipped employees would gradually increase from the current $2.65 until it reaches the minimum wage for other workers.

"People who work hard should be able to get a fair wage and not have to live in poverty," said Frank Houston, treasurer of Raise Michigan and director of Restaurant Opportunities Center-Michigan, which advocates for restaurant workers.

After the Board of State Canvassers approved the form of the minimum wage petition Wednesday, he said the three-month window to collect signatures is "a little tight" but pledged enough would be turned in. Labor unions, community organizers and other groups are leading the drive.

Michigan's minimum wage is slightly higher than the $7.25 federal minimum.

Critics of a higher minimum wage say it would hurt the economy.

A report by Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts on Tuesday concluded a gradual increase to $10.10 per hour by 2016 — which is what President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are seeking — would increase pay for more than 16.5 million people but also cost a half-million jobs.

Justin Winslow, vice president of government affairs for the Michigan Restaurant Association, expressed concern in particular with making Michigan's minimum wage for tipped employees the same as it is for other workers. State law requires businesses to ensure tipped employees make at least the $7.40 hourly minimum wage.

"Eliminating the tip minimum wage is unique and not something you're seeing anywhere else," he said. "It's not exaggeration, it's not hyperbole to say there will be several restaurants that will shut their doors if you're going to completely eliminate a tip minimum wage."

Forty-three states have some version of a tip minimum wage, Winslow said.

According to a survey of 600 likely Michigan voters conducted Feb. 5-11 by EPIC-MRA, 60 percent of respondents supported raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour; 36 percent opposed it. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Comments

Back to the Wall

Ten dollars and ten cents an hour is NOT ENOUGH!!!

If the national overall median wage is 46,000 per year, that is what the minimum wage should be.

Until we all make the same wages, discrimination and inequity will continue. Raise the wages until we are all on the same playing field!!!

Tri-cities realist

BTTW, thankfully I read your post further down to realize you weren't serious. I was going to summon our resident statistician to give you a lesson on the meaning of "median" but I trust you already know the definition :)

LIAMD

Don't embrace jealousy and fear,have confidence in yourself and your abilities & talents, shed your anger and revive your potential ,the things of this world are short lived money included.Embrace the Grace of Jesus Christ who will show you a away out of your financial predicament but you need to change your attitude BTTW.

bigdeal

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks.

Lanivan

I have no idea what you wrote, BD, but I'm sure it deserves a high five....

Barry Soetoro

The comment police are out in force tonight!

*slap*

Lanivan

I saw you got a mark against you as well....Congratulations! You're letting those lyrics turn you into a real rebel.

Barry Soetoro

And it was such an astute observation.....if only I had used the word "alleged"???

Barry Soetoro

Wait a sec. Rebel? Is that a Personal attack?

Lanivan

Of course not! Surely those nice moderators wouldn't take offense to another one of my pleasant comments written in a spirit of comarade...

Barry Soetoro

Maybe I need to "Alert Us".

Lanivan

You mean allegedly "Alert Us".

Barry Soetoro

Yup. Allegedly.

LessThanAmused

Wow, you guys must be being really bad to have posts removed....I haven't had any posts removed in a long time.

I go away for a day and y'all start causing problems for those great folks at the Trib? What a bunch of trouble makers. Why don't y'all just get a life and quite spending all your time on here being mean to people who don't deserve you wrath. (or something like that....) :-S

Lanivan

Feels good being on the other end of the stick, doesn't it?? Actually, we missed you and felt it our duty and obligation to continue on under the tutelage of LessThanAmused, to carry on the fine legacy you have crafted on these pages....We shall never give in, We shall storm the beaches, and the Dunes.....

Anyway, now that you're back, Welcome Home, and Carry On!

LessThanAmused

Why don't you guys do me a big favor and go explain to zappmama27 why she should think for herself and not rely on police tape and carboard signs to tell her what is safe to do and what isn't....I just read her second installment and I'm just completely befuddled. How does someone that clueless get thru the day,or find their way back home each night? Just lucky? or are there forces out there that we just don't know about?

My dad was more pragmatic. He always said "The lord looks out for fools and idiots, so if you're not one or the other, you better be able to look out for yourself"

I wanted to respond to her post, but after 5 minutes of quiet introspection I still couldn't come up with a opening line. Not too often I'm so gobsmacked that I can't find something to say.....I'm sure I'd be better off if I just went out to the garage and talked to my lawnmower......

Lanivan

Oh, phooey on zappmama27! Go and talk to your dogs - they'll understand what you mean, and think it's a darn good idea!

Tri-cities realist

I replied to mama on the other thread before seeing this article. Hopefully I didn't step on your toes, since I'm not sure you were asking for MY help. Although, I think we may have more in common than either of us would want to admit.

GHJames

She's right though. I went bowling recently and had several balls go into the gutter. Then I saw a kids league bowling with the gutters blocked off by bumpers. Where's my bumpers! They didn't even care enough about me to have a sign or somebody standing at my lane to tell mme about the bumpers. Outrage! I called the next day and the lady on the phone agreed with me. And not just to get me off the phone. My outrage was vindicated.

Back to the Wall

Thank you for your kind words, LiamD, but my outrage is feigned.

My abilities, talent, and willingness to take risks place my salary and 1099 income well beyond any "minimums".

I am trying illustrate the absurdity of raising the minimum wage to create wealth or security.

May your gods bless you.

Lanivan

Who are you, and what did you do to the real LIAMD?

zwesterhouse

Can't wait to sign the petition and vote on it. CEO's making $10, 20 and 30 million dollar salaries. Minimum wage should be $46,000 a year by now in 2014. And at that it still would not exceed executive compensation adjusted for inflation over the past 3 decades. But abilities & talents and anger like LIAMD is talking about have nothing to do with it. How do you justify paying any executive $5,000 an hour? Thats not talent. Jesus raised the dead, made a blind man see - how come he didn't get paid accordingly? They paid him alright - he created the universe and they nailed him. But yet the scribes and Pharasees and false prophets are/were paid like they are paid today. How about the apostle Peter? They were all martyred brutally! They had talents, they had their anger under control and did not love money. How about Stephen? who was stoned? So you religious people better get into your Bibles and read it more often before you bring it into these discussions.

Wolverine49457

Ok, how’s this? You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (This is found in Exodus)
Using the muscle of legislation to take money from one to give another out of anger or greed is not being a hero to those with less, it’s a sin. If an executive who earns salary and benefits high enough to anger you suddenly gave it to you…now you would be the focus of this kind of hate…do you deserve it or YOU being wealthy is different?
You are not privileged to know how much wealthy people give or do not give to charity and the poor but you want to take their money anyway and why, because they may be happy about being wealthy or because you have not invested in yourself to attain that earning potential and now you hate your mediocre lifestyle compared to theirs?
Executive pay and benefits are by agreement within a company and shareholders who generously compensate those that run financially successful profit earning companies and none of your business.
If you are so concerned that some are not getting enough in life then sell all you have and give the money to the poor.

Say no to new taxes

Had the minimum wage been indexed to inflation from it's beginning, this conversation wouldn't be necessary.

Tri-cities realist

Or never implemented in the first place...

Former Grandhavenite

It'll be interesting to see if the Republicans try to circumvent this with their own proposal to raise the minimum wage the way they did last time. I believe it was 2006 when a similar ballot initiative would have indexed the wage to inflation and it had overwhelming support based on the polls.

In true Machiavellian style the Republicans proposed a bill that would raise the minimum by a larger amount initially compared to the proposal, but would not index it to inflation, and that took the wind out of the sails of the pro- side of the ballot initiative. If this gets on the ballot it's pretty much a slam dunk as raising the minimum wage polls quite well. It should have always been indexed to inflation or perhaps even the consumer price index. I'm a huge supporter of raising the minimum wage, and indexing it is definitely the right move so that it roughly stays constant in actual purchasing power.

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