LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Michigan voters may get a chance next November to boost the state's minimum wage from its current $7.50 an hour. A coalition will likely launch a petition drive soon, but there could be a hidden agenda in all this to get republicans in the legislature to boost the wage without a statewide vote.
The president is likely to embrace a federal minimum wage increase in his State of the Union Tuesday night. In Lansing, democrats are making noises they will push a petition drive to hike the minimum wage in Michigan.
Former Union President Scott Dianda and current lawmakers argues, typical workers can't make in on $7.50 an hour.
"When we take a look at prices out there, I'm sure the people that are living on $7.50 an hour, it's pretty darn tough out there," said Rep. Dianda.
Traditionally, republicans on behalf of business, have opposed increasing the minimum wage.
"That's what I worry about is pricing people out of the market, making sure that if we artificially inflate, we will have people losing their jobs," said State Rep. Jase Bolger.
When Jennifer Grahmhol was governor in 2006, democrats launched a minimum wage petition drive and the fear of having that on the ballot and driving more democrats to the polls brought the republicans to the table who reluctantly hiked the wage.
Former Senator Robert Emerson was there and worked the deal and he thinks this might work again for his party. "There's some leverage there and the democrats can use it to their advantage," he said.
GOP Speaker Bolger says he is open to a compromise, but he thinks the democrats want to get more supporters to the polls.
"It seems they all about turn out. We need to make sure we're all about jobs," said Bolger.
Democrats counter they should be good paying jobs.