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Michigan House Expected To Stall Minimum Wage Increase Until 2030

December 03, 2018 - 9:44 am

LANSING (WWJ) - In the second week of their lame duck session the state House expected to follow the Senate's lead to change the state minimum wage law. 

Instead of a $12 an hour minimum wage in Michigan four years from now, the state house is expected to push the timeline back by twelve years, to 2030.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says the lame duck legislature has nothing to stop them. 

"The Michigan Senate did it last week and the Michigan House is poised to this week - and here's what they'll do; they basically go into the minimum wage law and making some major changes from the petition drive that people signed last year."

Skubick says that Republicans are motivated by the business community who want to slow the rate of raises to minimum wage.  

Republicans say this is what businesses want, while unions and Democrats, who don't have enough votes to stop them, are crying foul.

Alicia Renee Farris, chairperson of the Michigan One Fair Wage steering committee, said in September that voters need to keep a close eye on legislators after the mid-term elections -- after they rushed to raise the state's minimum wage before voters could vote on the proposal during the mid-term elections.

"They can not try to ride the coat-tail of this to get elected," said Alicia Renee Farris," and then turn around in lame-duck session and try to gut what people have worked. We do have legal counsel that indicates to do this, to gut this would be a violation of the Michigan constitution."

"Michigan's Constitution allows voter initiatives, but it does not ban the Legislature from adopting them to prevent them getting on the ballot, then immediately modifying the new laws," writes Michigan Radio. 

"Supporters of the initiatives say they will sue, based upon a 1964 opinion issued by then-Attorney General Frank Kelley, who said the legislature couldn't adopt a law, then modify it in the same session. But legislators say they're confident there's nothing in the Constitution or the law banning the practice."

The minimum wage in Michigan is currently $9.25 per hour. 

Look for a change in the Minimum Wage and Sick Time law later this week says Skubick.