Minimum Wage

The Issue:

Despite legislation passed and signed into law to increase the state's minimum wage, Michigan Democrats continue to pursue a ballot proposal to raise the state's minimum wage. Here's how the ballot proposal differs from the newly-enacted law:

Senate Bill 934 (Signed into Law May 2014)

  • Increase the minimum wage from $7.40/hour to:
    • $8.15/hour on September 1, 2014
    • $8.50/hour on January 1, 2016
    • $8.90/hour on January 1, 2017
    • $9.25/hour on January 1, 2018
  • Tie future increases to the Midwest Region’s CPI based on the most recent five-year period for which data is available beginning April 2019.
  • Annual increases for CPI cannot exceed 3.5%.
  • An inflationary increase in the minimum rate does not take effect if Michigan's unemployment rate, determined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 8.5 percent or greater for the year preceding the prescribed increase.
  • Increases the minimum hourly wage for tipped employees from $2.65/hour to a hourly wage rate of 38% of the minimum hourly wage rate beginning in September 2014.

Raise Michigan Proposal

  • Increase the minimum wage from $7.40/hour to:
    • $8.10/hour in Jan. 2015
    • $9.10/hour in Jan. 2016
    • $10.10/hour in Jan. 2017
  • Tie future increases to Detroit’s rate of inflation (CPI-W) beginning October 2016.
  • Increases the minimum hourly wage for tipped employees by 85 cents per year beginning in January 2015 until it equals the full minimum wage rate.

Where We Stand:

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is strongly opposed to the Raise Michigan ballot proposal because it would result in Michigan having one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, thereby making Michigan uncompetitive in the race for jobs. 

The Michigan Legislature passed the $9.25/hour minimum wage bill in hopes to deterring the Raise Michigan coalition from turning in their signatures to place this issue on the November ballot.  Unfortunately, the Coalition has decided to move forward with their plans to pursue this issue at the ballot box. 

If it is deemed they have enough signatures, this issue will likely go to the courts. The Legislature passed a full repeal of the current minimum wage statute, meaning the ballot proposal seeks to amend a law that no longer exists. The courts will need to decide whether to allow the issue on the November ballot. This is untested territory but an argument can be made that their petitions do not comply with the Constitutional requirements to put an issue on the ballot because the statute the proponents seek to amend has been changed.

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Staff Contact: 
Wendy Block
Director of Health Policy & Human Resources
Legislative Proposals: 
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