minimum wage | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

minimum wage

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Oakland County commissioners may be getting into a big fight over paying a small number of county employees a higher minimum wage. 

Commissioner Angela Powell wants to set a $15 per hour minimum wage for all full-time county employees. The change would affect about one percent of the county workforce.

Picture of the Lansing capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court will weigh in on how Republicans in the Legislature dealt with a voter-initiated measure to increase the state minimum wage. GOP leaders also asked the Supreme Court to issue an opinion on the new law that requires employers to offer workers paid sick leave.

The minimum wage and paid sick leave measures were headed to the ballot last November. But Republicans in the Legislature adopted the laws first and then changed them after Election Day, before adjourning for the year. The new laws were more employer-friendly than the original versions.

Democrats say the GOP actions circumvented the will of the voters.

minimum wage
Adobe Stock

The state's new minimum wage and earned sick time laws take effect today. But there’s lingering controversy about how the measures made it into law.

Lawmakers adopted the ballot questions before they could go to voters – and then made significant changes before sending them to then-governor Rick Snyder for his signature.

“It’s not a true victory,” said Danielle Atkinson, a leader of the campaign to change the state’s sick time laws.” It’s not what the people of Michigan asked for, wanted or need.”

minimum wage
Adobe Stock

Michiganders who are paid minimum wage will be getting a raise Friday. After many hurdles and changes, the state’s new minimum wage law is being put into effect.

The law originally started as a ballot initiative, although it looks very different from when it was adopted by the state Legislature in September 2018.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Democratic lawmakers are trying to once again make the state’s minimum wage $12 an hour by 2022.

Last year, there was a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour. The Legislature passed the measure without it going to the voters, and then quickly made major changes. Now, the minimum wage won’t get to $12 an hour until 2030.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder signed two bills into law that weaken voter initiatives to raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave for workers. Republican legislators passed the initiatives into law in September to prevent them from going on the ballot. That allowed them to extensively amend the measures.

The Michigan State Capitol
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican lawmakers in Lansing have been criticized lately, because they adopted two ballot proposals in September on minimum wage and paid sick time – and then passed bills to significantly change those measures.

It’s left some to wonder how fair our ballot initiative process is. One lawmaker has introduced a bill that he says will increase transparency and accountability in the ballot petition process.

Michigan State Capitol Building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder will now decide whether to approve major changes to voter initiated laws. Ballot proposals that would increase the state’s minimum wage and require employers to offer earned sick time were adopted by the Legislature in September. Now lawmakers have passed bills to limit their impact.

The efforts were met with opposition as protesters filled committee hearings and yelled in the halls of the Capitol. They’re frustrated that an initiative they wanted on the ballot is now being changed – and quickly – by lawmakers that aren’t coming back next year.

The Michigan State Capitol
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Tuesday was a busy day for legislators in Lansing.

Lawmakers are pushing through bills at a breathtaking pace before the new Legislature, and Democratic leaders, take office in January. Protesters were also at the Capitol most of the day – they’re frustrated with controversial bills moving quickly through the Legislature.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio


Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  

The state Legislature is moving forward with changes to a citizen initiative on paid sick leave. The measure to require employers to offer earned, paid sick time got enough signatures to make the November ballot.

But the Senate pre-empted that in an effort to scale it back before it becomes law.

The Michigan State Capitol
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, Michigan's lame-duck legislature moved to roll back previously-passed legislation that increased the state's minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave. Plus, a member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority weighs in on the state's plan to have the organization oversee a tunnel to house the replacement pipelines for of Enbridge's aging Line 5. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Watering down laws on minimum wage and paid sick leave remain at the top of the Republican agenda as state lawmakers return to work next week for their lame duck session.

Legislators passed the two measures in September to avoid letting Michigan voters decide at the polls. By doing so, state lawmakers have more power to alter the laws.

Danielle Atkinson is part of the campaign that tried to put paid employee sick leave on the November ballot. She says Republican lawmakers are not listening to them.

“They are only listening to the people that have the opportunity to vote for them or not vote for them,” says Atkinson, “So, we’re asking people who live in the district of a representative who have said they want to change this, to call them, message them, knock on their doors.”

Advocates for workers say state legislators are planning to weaken or gut new laws during the lame duck session that give people the right to paid sick time and an increase in the minimum wage.

The laws were passed in September in order to keep voter referendums off the November ballot.  

Gilda Jacobs is with the Michigan League for Public Policy.

She says the Legislature is using lame duck to go against the will of the people.

Lame duck is a term for the period between the end of one legislative session and the next.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Legislature returns for the start of its lame duck session Wednesday.  

There are several items on the agenda, including possibly amending laws to raise the minimum wage and to require paid sick leave.  

Pete Vargas is with Michigan One Fair Wage. He says legislators should leave the laws alone.

“We really hope and charge our legislators to avoid an expensive legal battle and just do what they are supposed to do and uphold the ballot initiatives and the spirit of the language it was adopted in,” says Vargas. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated at 3:00 p.m.

The driver of a burgundy pickup truck drove into a crowd of protesters in Flint Tuesday morning. Police believe it was an accident and the male driver has not been arrested.

Eight protesters were taken to the hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.  

Erick Senkmajer (L) and Erika Senecal (R).
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

On today's Stateside, the Republican-controlled state Legislature passes two progressive ballot proposals, giving them the power to amend the laws with a simple majority. Plus, two Port Huron teachers reflect on teaching high school music when you're just starting out, and when you've been doing it for 27 years.  

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two measures that were headed to the November ballot are now law. The state Legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum wage and allow employees to get earned sick time. However, the laws do not take immediate effect.

Some supporters of the proposals are now concerned about what the Legislature will do next.

The Legislature passed the measures instead of the voters, so it can make changes to the laws with a simple majority. But if the voters had passed the measures, the Legislature would have needed a 3/4 majority for any amendments.

Lisa Lyons speaking
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Kent County Clerk and Lieutenant Governor hopeful Lisa Posthumus Lyons says voters should be focused on  what she calls a “maximum wage” rather than a minimum wage.

“We want to make sure that Michigan has policies put in place that will ensure Michigan’s hardworking men and women have the opportunity to make as much as they possibly can to help raise their families,” Lyons said.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Tensions were high at a Board of State Canvassers meeting over ballot initiatives to increase the state’s minimum wage and to require employers offer earned sick time.

The board was ready to decide whether to certify the proposals, but an attorney for a business group that opposes the measures told the board a technicality prevented the board from legally voting on it Thursday. So the Board went to recess without a vote until the next day.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Business-backed organizations say two initiatives waiting for approval from the Board of State Canvassers should not be on the November ballot. One would raise the state’s minimum wage. The other would require earned sick time for employees.

The challenges, in part, involve whether the petitions have enough valid signatures to be on the November ballot.

Ballots
Flicker / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


Last week, two more business organizations formally launched challenges to proposals headed for the ballot this November. 

 

grand hotel on mackinac island
David Ball / creative commons

 

Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

pixabay

A question to boost Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 an hour could be headed to the November ballot. A petition drive says it’s gathered enough signatures to force the Legislature to adopt the initiative, or it goes to voters.

Michigan’s minimum wage rose to $9.25 an hour in January.

Campaign chair Alicia Farris says the initiative will not only increase the minimum wage again, it will also end the lower minimum wage for workers who earn tips.

Dollar bills and pennies
Jeffrey Smith / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Minimum wage in Michigan bumped up again with the start of the New Year on Monday. For most workers, that means a jump from $8.90 an hour to $9.25. A group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would drive that figure up to $12 by 2022, but business groups have expressed concerns.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what might be best the move for the state.


Michigan’s minimum wage is set to rise on New Year’s Day.

The state’s minimum wage will increase from $8.90 to $9.25. The rate is slightly lower for some trainees and teen workers. Restaurant and other workers who rely on tips will also not be making the new minimum wage.

someone writing on a ballot
Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Voters might have the chance to decide a pair of workers’ rights questions next year.

A petition campaign to require businesses to offer employees paid sick and family leave has launched its signature-gathering drive. On the same day, a state elections board approved the form of a campaign to increase the state minimum wage to $12 an hour, which plans to start gathering names next month.

The minimum wage campaign would also require employers pay the $12 an hour even to workers who count tips as part of their earnings.

lily tomlin and jane fonda
Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED Conference / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Actresses Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda partnered are in Michigan with restaurant worker advocacy groups to promote a ballot initiative raising the minimum wage in Michigan.

Advocates are raising money and collecting signatures to get the measure, which would raise the state's minimum wage gradually to $12 an hour by 2022, on the 2018 ballot. 

The head of Ontario's Liberal government, Premier Kathleen Wynne, wants to change labor laws to help part-time and contract Ontario workers make more money.
Jason Hargrove / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Ontario’s top government official introduced a plan Tuesday to increase the minimum wage and rework labor laws in the province to help support vulnerable workers.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plan calls to increase Ontario’s minimum wage from its current level at $8.47 USD, to $10.40 USD per hour by 2018. Under Wynne’s proposal, the minimum wage would increase again to $11.14 USD in 2019, and continue to increase to keep pace with inflation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan live in poverty, and new research suggests that number would be lower if some workers weren't being cheated out of pay they have earned.

Pages