Michigan workers making the minimum wage will get a raise in September.
Gov. Rick Snyder quickly signed the legislation tonight, before organizers of a petition campaign to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour submit signatures Wednesday.
The new law boosts the state’s minimum wage to $8.15 an hour this year. It will gradually increase the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour by 2018. After that, it will rise with inflation.
Snyder praised lawmakers for passing the bill.
“This is something that’s good for Michigan. It’s good for the hard-working people of Michigan and, I believe, economically sound in terms of hopefully creating an environment for long-term economic success," Snyder said.
The legislation is also designed to kill a petition drive that would raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. It did that by scrapping Michigan’s current minimum wage law and then recreating it as a new law so it can’t be amended by the petition campaign.
Republicans say that petition campaign’s increase to $10.10 without a lower rate for tipped workers would have visited disaster on tourism businesses and restaurants.
Danielle Atkinson is part of the Raise Michigan coalition. She says the group still plans to file its petitions Wednesday to put the question to the Legislature or on the November ballot.
“We have an obligation to the 300,000 people who have signed – signed in good will, thinking that they can have an impact in the government, not knowing that their voice would be taken away. So we have an obligation to turn in those signatures and continue the democratic process,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson says the campaign is ready to go to court if state officials try to keep the question off the ballot.