LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A group has gotten the OK from election officials to collect signatures for a measure to gradually raise Michigan’s minimum wage from $7.40 to $10.10 an hour.

The Board of State Canvassers on Wednesday approved the form of a petition submitted by organizers of the minimum wage ballot drive.

If Raise Michigan gathers roughly 258,000 valid signatures by late May, the proposed law would first go the Republican-led Legislature. It would have 40 days to vote or leave it to voters.

Michigan’s $7.40-an-hour minimum wage last went up in 2008 and is slightly higher than the $7.25 federal hourly minimum.

Since GOP lawmakers haven’t embraced raising the state’s minimum wage, the measure would likely head to a statewide vote in November.

Legislators also could reject the legislation and approve their own minimum wage bill, in which case both measures would be put before voters.

If approved, the wage hike would be implemented over a several year period, reaching $10.10 by January of 2017.

Republicans have said hiking the minimum wage would hurt employers’ ability to hire people. Some in the restaurant industry have said they already operates on thin margins, arguing sharply higher wages would lead to steeper prices.

MORE: Push To Raise Minimum Wage Gains Momentum, New Goal $10.10

Ballot Effort Underway To Raise Michigan Minimum Wage

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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