Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

May 14, 2014

Organizers: Competing GOP minimum wage bill is 'trickery'

LANSING (AP) — Advocates of raising Michigan’s minimum wage pushed back Tuesday on a competing Republican bill to raise the wage, calling the measure “trickery” and saying it would silence voters.

Representatives of the Raise Michigan coalition said a bill introduced last week by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, would undermine their push to have voters decide whether to raise the minimum wage from $7.40 to $10.10 by 2017 through a ballot initiative. The campaign has collected more than the 258,000 signatures needed for a measure to appear on the November ballot to amend current law, spokeswoman Danielle Atkinson said.

Richardville’s bill would raise the minimum wage to $8.15 by repealing the existing wage law and enacting a new one, which would render the ballot initiative moot.

“Senate Republicans are trying to circumvent the process in the middle of the game to avoid an unwanted result,” Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, said. “The voters deserve to be heard on this issue — it’s very important. And to try to silence their voice, it’s nothing but the kind of trickery that we’ve seen over the last couple of years.”

Democrats have said changing the limit to $8.15 an hour would not help minimum-wage earners get out of poverty.

Richardville, who previously said he wouldn’t support raising the minimum wage, said his bill is a proactive compromise and doesn’t aim to undermine voter will.

He said $8.15 is a “reasonable” target to offer at the start of negotiations.

“The people have spoken. The people say we want to look at minimum wage in Michigan,” Richardville told reporters. “Great, the people that they elected said, ‘Ok, we can buy that, let’s have a debate about it, let’s talk about it. Let’s do it in a reasonable way with something that can be vetted, talked about publicly, and then make a change.’”

Raise Michigan organizers are consulting lawyers about responding to Richardville’s bill, but they’ll keep collecting signatures until the deadline at the end of the month, Atkinson said. Their goal is to collect 360,000 signatures.

1
Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad