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Secret Meeting Held To Discuss Minimum Wage

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With plans to place a minimum wage increase on the November ballot, major business leaders held a secret meeting to map-out a strategy to fight the proposal.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick has the details on what they discussed.

The head of the statewide petition drive remains confident that they will get the signatures to place this $10.10 an hour minimum wage on the ballot in November. The latest polling data suggests 65 percent of the voters support that.

With that in mind House Speaker Jase Bolger, summoned to his office key business leaders to map out a plan to fight the proposal. So he invited the CEO and lobbyist for the restaurant association, a lobbyist from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the CEO of the Michigan Federation of Independent Businesses and the head of the Small Business Association.

The closed door session produced one conclusion. The ballot proposal would be tough to defeat, but they made no decisions on what to do next.

One option is for business and republicans to sit down with the minimum wage supporters and write a compromise that would be lower than $10.10 an hour.

This political consultant says if you go to the ballot and let the voters decide this, making an economic argument against it may not work.

“It’d tough to make an economic argument when most of the people don't understand economics,” said John Truscott, President, Rossman Group.

Reporter: “What should the business community do to fight this?

Truscott: “I think they need to tell real life stories about what the impact of this could be. You have to tug at the heart strings because on the face of it, this sounds like a good proposal, you have to show the people why it really could be detrimental especially kids coming in.

Meanwhile this republican senator has proposed an $8.15 an hour compromise, but he wants to exempt restaurant workers and he rejects an automatic inflationary increase, which is in the ballot proposal.

“What I want to keep is the waiter and waitress amount at $2.75,” said Senator Rick Jones (r), 24th District.

Reporter: “Are you open to an inflationary factor to put in that?”

Senator Jones: “I would be awfully cautious.”

A recent poll suggests that 54 percent of restaurant patrons would tip less if the minimum wage is hiked.
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