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Michigan's minimum wage will go up in 2023. But by how much?

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The question: How much will Michigan’s minimum wage increase in 2023?

The answer: It’s complicated. We know that the state’s minimum wage for non-tipped workers will increase to $10.10 from $9.87 on January 1, 2023, but it could increase to $13.03 in February depending on state court rulings.

The background: You have to go back to 2018, the state Capitol, and a controversial strategy now known as ‘adopt and amend.’ As David Eggert, Senior Reporter at Crain’s Detroit Business explains, “at that time the Republican-led Legislature essentially passed some ballot initiatives into law and then did something controversial called ‘adopt and amend’ and they essentially watered down the law” that would have increased the state’s minimum wage at a higher rate. “Under Michigan law people who want to pass a bill… can do a ballot initiative but there’s a quirk in the law that says the Legislature can just pass that into law instead of having [the question] go on the ballot. In 2018, before the election, Republicans went ahead and passed a pretty big minimum wage increase into law. Then, after the election, they decided to change the law… and, according to critics, they essentially watered down or gutted the law to make it more palatable to the business community,” Eggert explains. “It’s a strategy that’s never been done before and critics essentially said it went against both the Constitution but also the spirit of ballot initiatives.” In July, the Court of Claims found the ‘adopt and amend’ strategy unconstitutional and restored the law that would have increased the minimum wage to the higher amount. But that ruling is being appealed.

What’s next? There’s an appeal to the Court of Claims ruling from July. The Court of Appeals will hear the appeal with arguments scheduled for next week. As the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity noted this week, “Pending final resolution of the appeal, and lifting of the stay, under the potential implementation of the originally adopted petition, the minimum wage rate for 2023 would be $13.03 and $11.73 for tipped employees.”

Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio’s Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.
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