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Michigan Governor Signs Off on Gutted Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Laws

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The laws now look wildly different from the original citizen-led proposals

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Governor Rick Snyder gave his signature of approval today to heavily amended versions of Michigan’s $12 minimum wage and paid sick leave laws, the Detroit News reports.

Under the new versions of the laws minimum wages would rise from $9.25 to $12.05 per hour by 2030, rather than the original proposal of $12 per hour by 2022. Restaurant and bar employees receiving tipped minimum wages would see their wages rise to only $4.58 per hour from $3.52 per hour over the same period, rather than reaching $12 per hour as a citizen-led initiative had proposed. Paid sick leave mandates would only apply to businesses with more than 50 employees.

The new versions of the law were adopted by the state’s Republican-led legislature on December 4 during a tumultuous lame-duck session that’s drawn major protests. Snyder had previously met with lawmakers in the final hours before a vote on the minimum wage and sick leave laws, which resulted in minor adjustments to the minimum wage legislation.

Groups supporting paid sick leave, increasing the minimum wage to $12 per hour, and eliminating the tipped minimum wage — a wage for employees are paid a subminimum wage plus tips — had led campaigns to get two ballot proposals before voters on November 6. However, lawmakers approved the measures in September. By adopting the proposals rather than allowing them to go to a vote state Republicans made it easier to pass amendments to the bills with a simple majority vote in a post-election lame duck session.

Supporters of the original measures have called the efforts to thwart the will of voters unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Republican Attorney General has stated that the so-called Adopt and Amend strategy is legal.

Snyder Signs Laws Weakening Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Initiatives [Detroit News]
Lawmakers Approve Major Changes to Michigan’s New Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Laws [ED]
Michigan Legislature Approves Initiatives for $12 Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave [ED]
$12 Minimum Wage Supporters Oppose Proposal to Adopt and Amend Ballot Measure [ED]

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