Republicans canvassers blocked a citizen ballot proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour because organizers changed a definition in the petition before collecting an estimated 360,309 voter signatures.
The Michigan Supreme Court will soon decide whether to increase the minimum wage for hourly and tipped workers. Restaurants say that hurt will servers and lead to layoffs. Proponents say servers deserve better pay.
A victory for progressives, the ruling directs the state to immediately raise Michigan’s minimum wage from $9.87 to $12 an hour and eliminate a lower tipped wage for restaurant workers by 2024. It will likely be appealed.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s economic plan would also direct money to help parents offset childcare expenses and enable businesses to cover operational costs. She must negotiate the plan with a GOP-majority legislature.
Does Michigan’s constitution allow the legislature to adopt and amend citizen initiatives in the same two-year term, or does it explicitly prohibit the practice? It’s now up to the state’s highest court to decide.
Michigan’s high court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether Republican efforts to pass the ballot measure, then gut it, violated the constitution. That does not mean the court will decide the matter, at least right now.
Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will not write an opinion on last-minute GOP changes to wage and sick leave laws passed in December. Instead, she deferred to the state Supreme Court on whether the changes were constitutional.
The state’s high court will hear arguments in July on whether the Legislature followed the rules when it watered down the impact of citizen-drafted legislation to raise Michigan’s minimum wage and require employers to offer paid sick leave. But the court stopped short of saying it will issue an opinion.