Minimum Wage Backers Want November Vote, Some Lawmakers Disagree - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Minimum Wage Backers Want November Vote, Some Lawmakers Disagree

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Backers of a statewide petition to hike the minimum wage say they've gathered enough signatures to place this on the November ballot, but the vote would be meaningless if a GOP leader has his way.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick has the back and forth over wages for low income employees.

Those who want to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over three years declare that they have enough signatures to let Michigan voters decide this issue in November.

Ah, not so fast says the senate republican leader, who has his own idea. His bill would hike the minimum wage to $8.15 an hour. But if lawmakers agree with his plan, the ballot proposal would be worthless.

Reporter: “You would like to kill the ballot proposal so you can negotiate a deal with lawmakers on raising the minimum wage?”
Senator: “Yeah, I think that’s fair.”
Reporter: “Will it work?”
Senator: “I think so and I think you'll see we'll move quickly on it.”

But these folks are very upset.

“And for the senator to come and take our petitions away, it hurts us. It just lets us know that our voice is actually being taken away from us,” said Dietta Hill, wants higher wages.

This democrat complains republicans re-wrote the emergency manager law after voters rejected it and they adopted a wolf hunting plan when a petition drive sought to ban wolf hunting.

Which lead the senate democratic leader to conclude, “my colleagues like to cloak themselves in the flag and preach about constitutional rights and then they trample on them as soon as someone pursues their constitutional right to get an issues on the ballot and undermine that effort,” said Senator Gretchen Whitmer (d), Senate Democratic Leader.

The republican senator disagrees. He claims that lawmakers, not petition backers, should be raising the minimum wage, plus he says their plan would kill jobs. And Mr. Richardville says he’s willing to compromise with the democrats on his proposal.

“I would consider looking at a CPI maybe so that reasonably we increase it, we don’t end up with the same kind of problem we have on the roads. I’d look at exemptions for senior citizens and maybe for students that are working their way through the summers and helping the tourism industry. And I think we can come to something that maybe not everybody will agree on, but it won’t have those unintended consequences that this ballot proposal would,” said State Senator Randy Richardville, Senate GOP Leader.

But Mr. Richardville says he will not negotiate with these folks.
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