This week in Michigan politics: Minimum wage and Mackinac

May 28, 2014

Credit Flickr user borman818

In this Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss the passage of a new minimum-wage bill and the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Minimum wage

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill yesterday to raise the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour by 2018. It would then rise with inflation. The bill would also set the minimum wage for tipped workers at nearly 40% of the regular minimum wage. Organizers of a petition drive to raise the wage to $10.10 an hour say this won't stop them and they'll turn in petition signatures today.

Republicans say the petition drive is now null and void because the petition drive relates to a law that doesn’t exist anymore. Lessenberry says that the people behind the petition drive will appeal that to the courts.

“My guess is that the odds are against them,” Lessenberry says.

Lessenberry says if the minimum wage petition drive is on the ballot in November, it will bring more Democratic voters to the polls to vote on the matter. That idea is what caused Republican lawmakers to act so fast on passing the minimum wage bill.

Mackinac Policy Conference

The Mackinac Policy Conference is taking place this week. Lessenberry says one of the big focuses of the conference this year is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, but the Detroit bankruptcy and the related "grand bargain" as well as road funding are likely to be talked about.