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Published: Monday, 2/17/2014

Bigger proposed hike eyed by Mich. group

Minimum wage rate would hit $10.10 by ’17

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LANSING, Mich. — Supporters of boosting the hourly minimum wage in Michigan want to put a bigger proposed increase before voters than previously announced, organizers of the effort said Monday.

The Raise Michigan campaign said it now wants to raise the minimum wage from $7.40 per hour to $10.10 per hour by January, 2017. The campaign previously had submitted proposed ballot language to increase it to $9.50 per hour by January, 2016.

In a statement, the campaign said there is “strong public support” for the idea.

“This proposal gives people who work hard ... a better chance to escape poverty, and allows businesses more time to adjust to the proposal,” Raise Michigan said.

The Michigan Board of Canvassers plans to review the petition at its meeting Wednesday, the group said. If approved, supporters of Raise Michigan say they plan to collect 258,000 valid signatures from Michigan voters needed to put the proposal on the November ballot.

Critics say raising the minimum wage would hurt the economy. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who is up for re-election, has said increasing the wage could have negative consequences. Michigan’s GOP-led Legislature hasn’t embraced the idea of raising the state’s minimum wage above $7.40.

A full-time worker making $9.50 per hour earns $19,760 annually — right at the federal poverty level for a family of three this year. A worker making $10.10 per hour over the same time period would earn just more than $21,000 a year.

Michigan’s minimum wage is slightly higher than the $7.25 federal minimum.



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