Michigan voters will not get a chance in November to vote on raising the minimum wage and creating a sick day account for employees.
The Republican legislature blocked that vote today.
The legislature voted to:
- raise the minimum wage
- create a sick leave bank for workers but…
- they won’t take a effect now
- Republicans will change the laws after the election.
So, is this a sham?
Democratic State Senator Jim Ananich is clear. “No question about it. 100%. It’s undo and screw.”
But the Republican leadership contends the new benefits for workers, if approved by the voters, will hurt businesses and they pledge to come back after the election and rewrite the proposals but not eliminate them.
Small business lobbyist Charlie Owen explains, “this is a terrible impact on small business. They are the least able to comply with the law as written. It’s very cumbersome.”
“We want small business to have a chance to grow,” adds small business lobbyist Tony Stamas. “And when you keep adding additional burdens on them a lot of them aren’t going to make it.”
Democrats argue if the Republicans want to change the proposals, tell the voters right now what the changes will be.
“It’s really bait and switch,” said Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. “They won’t tell voters what they’re going to change it to later on after the election. If that’s not a great big lie and disrespectful to the Michigan voters, than I don’t know what is.”
Democrats argue the Republicans are afraid too many Democrats would show up to vote on these issues in the fall, so keeping them off the ballot is really an attempt to suppress the Democratic vote.
“I think that’s what they’re trying to do,” said Rep. Sam Singh.