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Group forms to explore minimum wage ballot initiative

by: Eric B.

Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:16:12 AM EST


Someone just asked about a ballot initiative to get involved with. I give you, from Ye Olde Inbox:

Lansing, MI – Community organizing, social justice and labor groups today formed a committee to explore a ballot campaign to raise the minimum wage in Michigan. The minimum wage in Michigan –currently $7.40 an hour – hasn’t been raised since 2008, leaving many families living on wages that have not kept up with the price of goods and services.  Tipped workers, like waiters and waitresses, have not received an increase in their minimum wage for over 22 years and currently earn only $2.65 an hour.

Shannon Bryson, 33, of Muskegon is a single mom with two kids, who works part time at a fast food chain and earns minimum wage. “By the time I pay for gas to get to and from work, there’s not much left of my pay check.  Raising the minimum wage could do a lot for mothers like me.  I see people evicted from their homes because they don’t earn enough to pay their rent, and during this cold, cold winter, I see children whose parents can’t afford to dress them warmly enough.”

The last time the state's minimum wage was hiked, it was because of something like this. The citizens' group sought a higher minimum wage than what the Legislature eventually adopted, but enough to make the ballot initiative go away. It was a case of "the people" strongarming the Legislature into acting (which itself is a time honored tradition going back to the bottle deposit bill in the late 70s). So, either the Legislature hike the minimum wage, or stagnant wages becomes a campaign issue this year.

Eric B. :: Group forms to explore minimum wage ballot initiative
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