Snyder Weighing Controversial Bills; Skubick Reports “Done Deal”

He’s keeping his plans close to the vest when it comes to whether or not controversial legislation will be signed coming out of the lame duck session of the Legislature. But Governor Snyder told WDIV-TV in Detroit over the weekend he plans to give the changes to the state’s minimum wage and paid sick time laws careful consideration.

“My focus is on public policy and what’s good for the citizens of Michigan,” said Snyder. “I take any bill that comes to me seriously, so we’ll go through an in-depth, thorough review, very nerd-like.”

Democratic state Representative Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo says these bills are bad public policy and he hopes Snyder agrees.

“The stuff that we’re seeing right now is sort of this last-gasp of folks clinging to this old idea that we have to do whatever the biggest business says we have to do,” says Hoadley.

Michigan News Network Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick, however, is reporting Snyder will sign the minimum wage and paid sick leave changes.

“The governor may delay announcing his decision to sign this legislation, perhaps using leverage on other legislation he wants to get through. So he’ll go to Republicans and say ‘I could sign this, but you’ve got to give me something in return,'” says Skubick.

Among Snyder’s priorities that lawmakers haven’t yet touched is increasing what are called “tipping fees,” which is the money paid to dump trash in the state. Michigan has some of the lowest in the Midwest, and that’s made the state attractive to out-of-state and Canadian companies looking for a cheap place to get rid of their trash.

The changes made to the minimum wage law push back full implementation of the $12-an-hour wage from 2022 to 2030 and restore the tipped wage credit for servers. The paid sick leave law currently mandates employers provide workers with 72 hours of paid sick time a year. Lawmakers have scaled that back to 40 hours a year.

Both were passed preemptively late in the summer to keep them off the ballot and make it easier for the House and Senate to make changes. Had they been passed by voters, modifications would have required a three-fourths super majority in both chambers. By passing it themselves and keeping the voters from having a say, changes need just a simple majority to be enacted with the governor’s approval.