Michigan Debates Minimum Wage Hike - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan Debates Minimum Wage Hike

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(WLNS) - The minimum wage debate continues in Michigan. Last week the state senate passed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $9.20 and automatically adjust it to inflation over time.

On Wednesday a house committee took up the issue in a panel open to the public and as the debate heats up, so does the passion around this issue.

Will a minimum wage increase improve workers' quality of life?

"I don't understand why I, as a single woman have to work three jobs. Why do I have to defer having a family,” said Candace Cooper, minimum wage worker.

Or will it kill jobs altogether?

"A single mother comes up to me and says hey I have a son. I need him to do work. We've often said yes, and if we have an increase in the minimum wage, the answer to that question might be no,” said Nevin Groce, small business owner.

But it depends on who you ask.

Detroit business owner Nevin Groce pays his employees more than minimum wage, but says a statewide increase will raise his costs if it hurts companies he does business with.

"I'm glad we had the chance to have a hearing on it. Let the people say what they wanted to say,” said State Representative Peter Lund (r), Macomb.

The committee heard testimony on the senate's version of the bill, which sets the minimum wage at $9.20 and automatically adjusts every year for inflation.

While senate republicans made those concessions, State Representative Peter Lund hinted those in the house might not be so willing.

"There are a lot of issues, let’s just leave it at that."

"We're going to have a hard time getting it out of committee."

State Representative Rudy Hobbs asks those opposed to raising minimum wage, if not now, when?

"No one can really talk about what conditions should actually exist before we raise the minimum wage,” said State Representative Ruby Hobbs, (d), Southfield.

"The committee ran out of time so there was no vote today, they'll pick it back up tomorrow but one thing's clear--the minimum wage debate in Michigan is far from over.”

If the community approves the minimum wage bill on Thursday, it will head to the house floor for a vote.

If the bill passes, it will negate a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

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