LANSING (AP) — Paying Michigan workers $12 an hour by 2022 and phasing out the reduced minimum wage for tipped workers could be put to a popular vote this fall.
On Monday, the Michigan One Fair Wage group submitted 373,507 signatures in support of annually increasing the state's current $9.25 an hour wage, starting with a hike to $10 next year and concluding with $12 in 2022. Growth after that would be tied to the yearly inflation rate. Tipped employees would also be paid full minimum wage on top of their tips by 2024.
"For too long, working people have struggled to make ends meet while greedy CEOs rake in big bucks at their expense," said the campaign's chairwoman, Alicia Renee Farris. "It's time for a raise."
Advocates for the effort arrived in Lansing to deliver the petition to the Secretary of State's office, where it awaits a Board of State Canvassers certification of at least 252,523 signatures to proceed.
Should it falter in the Republican-controlled Legislature, the initiative would be placed on the ballot during the November ballot for voters to accept or reject.
Michigan Democrats propose free community college plan
LANSING (AP) — Michigan's House Democrats want the state to provide full-tuition scholarships for community college students.
Lawmakers announced the plan, titled the HirED Opportunity Act, in the Capitol on Monday. It would grant the scholarship to recent high school graduates who enroll full time in a community college. They must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and participate in mentorship and community service programs. For older adults, the program would cover tuition and place them in a career training program.
To be eligible, individuals must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the U.S. government's free form for students to receive loans, grants and other types of financial aid. The potential HirED program would fill in remaining tuition costs.
The plan will likely face opposition in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Man's body found in trunk of car at West Michigan tow yard
BATTLE CREEK (AP) — A Battle Creek man's body has been found in the trunk of an abandoned car taken over the weekend to a southern Michigan tow yard.
Police said the car's owner found the body of 43-year-old Diabulo White on Monday morning when she went to retrieve the vehicle from the tow yard.
Police said White had been shot in the head. He was reported missing Saturday by his mother.
The car was towed from private property. Police said the property owner knew nothing about the vehicle.
White's death is under investigation. A 48-year-old Battle Creek man is being held as a person of interest in the case.
Gas station clerk shot to death during apparent robbery
WYOMING (AP) — A 49-year-old gas station clerk has been fatally shot during an apparent robbery in the Grand Rapids area.
The station's owner told WOOD-TV that a man was in the gas station at about 6 a.m. Monday and demanded money. The owner said he told the man he didn't have anything on him. The man then shot the clerk.
Police believe the suspect and another man drove from the Wyoming business in a car. Investigators were reviewing surveillance footage from security cameras.
Officers seeking the suspects later surrounded a home in nearby Grand Rapids after finding a car outside that matched the description of the vehicle that fled the gas station.
The clerk's name was not immediately released.