Lawmakers Say Minimum Wage Hike And Road Revenue Go Hand-In-Hand - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lawmakers Say Minimum Wage Hike And Road Revenue Go Hand-In-Hand

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - The minimum wage issue is back in the news and key democrats in Lansing are warning the governor and republicans that if they don't get a minimum wage increase they won't get the "yes votes" for the governor's revised "road funding package."

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick reports that linking un-related issues, like this, is nothing new at the Capitol.

The Michigan Senate voted last week to hike the minimum wage to $9.20 an hour by 2017.

But the head of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce has dumped on the proposal, which includes an automatic cost of living increase.

“We believe the minimum wage increase that passed the senate last week goes too far too fast. We are especially concerned about the provision that we’ve put government mandated pay increases on auto pilot. We’re going to be asking the house to either remove the indexing provision or vote no on the bill,” said Rick Studley, CEO, Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

The democrats are now saying if the chamber does not back off its opposition to the minimum wage, then the democrats will not vote to raise more revenue for the governor’s road package.

The senate democratic leader says the two issues are linked.

“So for anyone to think a particular issue doesn’t bleed into another is absolutely naïve,” said State Senator Gretchen Whitmer (d), Senate Democratic Leader.
Reporter: “He should back off his opposition?”
Senator Whitmer: “Well, his opposition puts a lot of things in jeopardy, I would say yeah.”

The house democratic leader met with the governor on the road issue and he thinks the minimum wage should be hiked, especially if motorists are going to pay more their gas to fix the road down the road.

“There’s a symmetry between the republican proposal to increase taxes on motor fuel and tie it to adjustments and increases for inflation and between increasing the minimum wage and tying that to increases in inflation over time,” said State Representative Tim Greimel, (d), House Democratic Leader.

On Wednesday, Senate republicans will release their higher revenue for the road package and linking it to the minimum wage, they say is an issue to be resolved

Reporter: “It’s a hurdle?”
Senator Kahn: “No, it’s an issue,” said State Senator Roger Kahn, (r), Senate Budget Chair.
Reporter: “It’s a challenge?”
Senator Kahn: “It’s an issue.”
“Sounds like politics in election year to me,” said State Representative Earl Poleski (r), Jackson.

Regardless of what you call it, the democrats make it clear no minimum wage hike; it will be tough for them to support the governor’s higher revenue for the roads.
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