On the heels of a measure signed into law last evening by Governor Rick Snyder, hourly salaries of Michigan’s lowest-paid workers will go up on September 1st. Whether to raise the state’s minimum wage has been one of the most debated issues so far in 2014, and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has been closely involved in the discussion.
At the end of every month, Current State takes a look back at the biggest news stories of the previous 30 days. To help us put it in context, Current State talks with the host of Off The Record on WKAR-TV and other Michigan public TV stations Tim Skubick, M-Live Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting, and editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, Susan Demas.
A coalition of labor and civil rights groups calling itself Raise Michigan has announced its intention to form a ballot campaign committee. It’s a procedural step that could lead to a statewide vote this November on raising the minimum wage, which in Michigan is currently $7.40 an hour.
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.
President Obama called for an increase in the federal minimum wage this week in his State of the Union Address. Michigan legislative Democrats followed up with their own calls for an increase. Republicans at all levels say an increase would be a job-killer.