On Monday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer called for Michigan to adopt the highest minimum wage in the country. Currently standing at $7.40 an hour, Schauer's recommended $9.25 an hour would surpass the top existing state rate in Washington by 6 cents.
Schauer describes the move as right both economically and morally. His campaign says a $9.25 rate would match the purchasing power of the 1968 rate, when adjusted for inflation.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s business community warns the wage hike could make the state less competitive in its efforts to attract more business and jobs. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce points to studies suggesting employers focus more on better skilled employees when the minimum wage goes up.
Schauer says 17 states currently have a minimum wage that's higher than Michigan's, and minimum wage workers continue to lose ground.