Michigan raises wage
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday to raise the state’s minimum wage by 25 percent 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 House and Senate passed the bill Tuesday, one day before a group of labor and community organizers planned to submit hundreds of thousands of petition signatures calling for a Michigan ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
The current hourly minimum wage is $7.40.
Michigan is the first state with a Republican-led legislature to raise its minimum wage this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota and West Virginia have raised their minimum wages, as well as the District of Columbia. Vermont’s increase has yet to be signed by the governor.
The Michigan Restaurant Association, National Federation of Independent Business and other business groups have said a wage increase would cut into businesses’ profits, which could cause closures and layoffs. The Republican governor said the measure is “economically sound.”
It is unclear if the new law could prevent the $10.10 measure from appearing on the November ballot.