State GOP Senator Offers Minimum Wage Hike Alternative

Apr 24, 2014

A Republican in the state Senate wants to boost Michigan’s minimum wage to $8.15 an hour.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, the legislation introduced Thursday is an alternative to a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage.

That ballot drive would boost the rate to $10.10 an hour, including tipped workers. Right now, Michigan’s regular minimum wage is $7.40 an hour and the tipped wage is $2.65.

Republican state Senator Rick Jones says that kind of increase would put many Michigan restaurants out of business. He hopes his legislation will head off the ballot initiative.

“I’m deeply concerned about the waiters and waitresses and all the jobs that’ll be lost – a lot of good friends,” he says.

But Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he’s not on board.

“I know what he’s trying to do and he’s got a lot of business community actually supporting him,” he says.  “The one person he doesn’t have is me at this point.”

Richardville says he doesn’t support any proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage.