Business Lobbyist On Minimum Wage Petition: “We Don’t Have Any Problem Derailing That Effort”

LANSING (WWJ) – Those who want to raise the minimum wage in Michigan think a leading Lansing lawmaker is trying to sabotage their efforts.

The proponents of a petition drive to raise the state’s minimum wage are voicing concern that Senate Republican leaders are deliberately trying to end the petition drive by introducing a bill to raise the minimum wage which is lower than the petition drive seeks reports WWJ’s Tim Skubick.

Charlie Owens, a business lobbyist with the National Federation of Business, is in support of the Senate action.

“We think that making laws through emotional ballot proposals – where you pay people to gather signatures, and stand on the street and say things that are probably inaccurate to get people to sign it is not the way to make law. We don’t have any problem derailing that effort.”

“I think this is a very smart move,” said Owens.”Going to the ballot has some negatives to it – unfortunately there’s really no nice outcome – whether it’s done legislatively or ballot proposal – it’s just a matter of degree of severity with regard to the impact on small business and the economy and the state.”

The “Raise Michigan” campaign has announced in February, a new goal for minimum wage: $10.10 an hour.

The new proposal would be implemented over a several year period, reaching $10.10 by January of 2017 if it’s approved.

Republicans have said hiking the minimum wage would hurt employers’ ability to hire people. The restaurant industry says it already operates on thin margins and argues sharply higher wages would lead to steeper prices.


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