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Some Michigan Lawmakers Critical Of Republican Minimum Wage Bill

Apr 28, 2014

A Republican state Senator's legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 and hour to $8.15 an hour is drawing criticism from local lawmakers.

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Legislation introduced by Rick Jones of Grand Ledge would also raise the minimum wage for tipped employees ten cents to $2.75 and hour. 

Democratic State Representative David Rutledge says he'd rather see the minimum wage issue decided by voters, because people recognize fairness.

"The price of gas goes up," Rutledge says, "the price of food goes up, rental facilities go up, housing goes up, but the minimum wage has been stable for a number of years."

Rutledge's Democratic colleague Jeff Irwin says it's time for a real increase in the minimum wage.

"The bottom line is, if people work hard, people work a full time schedule, they need to be able to earn enough money to put a roof over their head and food on their table," Irwin says.

Senator Rick Jones says he's concerned that raising tipped employees' wages to $10.10 and hour along with everyone else would hurt restaurants. 

His proposal has not been embraced by all Republicans in Lansing.  Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville opposes a minimum wage increase, and Governor Rick Snyder says he hasn't reviewed the measure.