Supporters of raising minimum wage say they have enough signatures

May 13, 2014

Supporters of raising Michigan's minimum wage say they have enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
Supporters of raising Michigan's minimum wage say they have enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
Credit Light Brigade / Flickr

Leaders of the petition drive to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour say a Republican attempt to derail their effort is nothing but a “dirty trick.” They also say it won’t stop them from turning in signatures to put their question in front of the Legislature, and, if necessary, voters.

Danielle Atkinson is with the group Mothering Justice, which is part of the minimum wage coalition.

“We’re going to continue collecting. We’re going to turn them in. We believe that the Legislature will not pass this. We are really hopeful that the majority of representatives and senators will see that this is undermining voters and not pass it,” Atkinson said.

The deadline to turn in petition signatures is later this month.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville introduced a bill to repeal Michigan’s minimum wage law and replace it with a new one that might be unaffected by the petition drive. It includes a more-modest minimum wage hike to $8.15 an hour and a separate, lower wage for tipped workers. 

Richardville says he introduced that bill because he believes increasing the minimum wage and tipped wage to $10.10 an hour is too dangerous to the state’s economy.

"If you increase the amount they pay to each employee, you reduce the number of employees that they can pay, and what you’re going to do is spiral this economy backwards again into longer unemployment lines, and start to go backwards to where we were during the previous administration when unemployment was in the double digits,” Richardville said.           

Raise Michigan says that $8.15 an hour would not lift a full-time breadwinner out of poverty.