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Senate bill would lower minimum wage for young adults

Jun 18, 2015

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A bill is being considered by the Michigan Senate that would lower the minimum wage for young adults.

Senate Bill 250 would allow people under 20 to be paid 85% of the state minimum wage or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.

Current laws allow employers to pay workers under 18 a lower minimum wage.

However, the bill does increase the training wage, which employers can pay people under 20 years old, for the first 90 days of employment.

The hourly training wage rate would increase from $4.25 to $6.25.

The bill has received mixed reactions.

Organizations such as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Restaurant Association support the bill.

However, other organizations such as Michigan AFL-CIO and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, oppose the bill.

Lonnie Scott is with Progress Michigan, which opposes the bill.

"As we are seeing college tuition go up, the fact that you would even consider lowering their wages below the minimum wage in the state is pretty ludicrous," Scott said.

Currently, the Michigan minimum wage is $8.15. It will increase to $8.50 on Jan. 1, $8.90 on Jan. 1, 2017, and $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2018. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.