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Politics & Government

State Senate approves bill to block local wage, benefit laws

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A bill that would end local wage and benefit laws has cleared the state Senate.

The legislation would stop communities from setting their own living wage and workplace rules – among other things.

Republican supporters say having a variety of different workplace requirements across the state makes Michigan less attractive to businesses.

“As local governments attempt to pass more and more burdensome regulations and patchwork of rules for private businesses, we are in danger of driving those very jobs out as employers are forced to decide whether it is worth here to stay,” said state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton.

Democrats and several Republicans in the Senate say it’s a blatant attack on local control.

“It’s garbage. It’s taking rights from my constituents,” said Democratic state Sen. Coleman Young II of Detroit – which has taken a lead role in pursuing these agreements.

“The people elected these elected officials, the people put these rules in place, the people are the ones that support these ordinances, and the people are the ones receiving these wages,” said state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing.

“So let’s stop talking about what we’re concerned about the corporations – they’re not the ones that sent me here. Let’s worry about the people.”

The state House – which narrowly approved the legislation last month – could send the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk as soon as next week.

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