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Posted: Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:00AM

Minimum Wage Going Up; Area Lawmakers Vote Against Hike



Minimum wage workers are getting a raise in Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder wasted no time and signed legislation Tuesday evening increasing the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour by 2018.

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The compromise deal ties future increases to the rate of inflation or 3.5%, whichever is lower. The new law takes effect immediately, and the minimum wage will go up to $8.15 an hour on September 1. The wage will rise to $8.50 on January 1, 2016 and hit $9.25 at the start of 2018. Lawmakers passed the increase just two days before the group Raise Michigan plans to submit petitions to put an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on the fall ballot. Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer noted the new law was important to both parties.

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Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said for Republicans, this compromise was much better than the ballot proposal being circulated.

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While Richardville and Snyder hailed the compromise, it was not popular among southwest Michigan Republicans. Area state Representatives Al Pschokla of Stevensville, Aric Nesbitt of Lawton, Dave Pagel of Berrien Springs, Bob Genetski of Saugatuck and Margaret O'Brien of Portage voted against the increase. Republican Matt Lori of Constantine was among the 76 yes votes. In the Senate, Tonya Schuitmaker of Van Buren County voted no, while Senator John Proos was excused from the vote due to the death of his father. Senator Rick Jones, whose district includes Allegan County, voted yes.

   

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