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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder raises minimum wage to $9.25

Michigan is the first state with a Republican-led legislature to raise the minimum wage. There is a national effort to raise the federal minimum wage but Republicans in Congress have halted the legislation.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   May 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM
LANSING, Mich., May 28 (UPI) -- Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., signed a bill Tuesday evening that will raise the state's minimum wage to $9.25 an hour by 2018.

Snyder signed the bill quickly after the House passed it 76-34 and 24-12 in the Senate.

The new law will raise Michigan's current minimum wage of $7.40 in four stages. The first increase, which will take place in September, bumps wages up to $8.15 an hour, the second will take place at the beginning of 2016, increasing it to $8.50, then $8.90 in 2017 and $9.25 in 2018.

It will apply to workers 18 years of age or older, minors will receive 85 percent of the new minimums. Tipped workers will only get 38 percent of the new rates with their minimums jumping from $2.65 an hour to $3.52 by 2018. However, if their tips and the minimum wage do not equal the current regular minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

Snyder and members of the legislature hailed the bill as a bipartisan compromise from the originally proposed $10.10 minimum wage.

"I commend my partners in the Legislature for finding common ground on a bill that will help Michigan workers and protect our state's growing economy," said Snyder upon passage of the bill.

"I saw the $10.10 [minimum wage] as wrecking the economy," said state Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica. "[And] everything I saw said it would pass."

"This is something that's good for Michigan, it's good for the hardworking people of Michigan, and I believe economically sound in terms of hopefully creating an environment for long-term economic success," Snyder also said in a statement.

While Snyder is a Republican, Michigan has veered toward the left in recent presidential and congressional elections. President Obama won Michigan over Michigan-born Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

"Getting the minimum wage up to $9.25 with indexing to inflation after that is a huge win for Michigan workers, it's a big benefit to Michigan families," said Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills.

Mark Schauer, Snyder's Democratic challenger in the upcoming election, was more hesitant in his praise saying, "glad the Republicans have figured out [the minimum wage] is a significant issue and essentially adopted my plan."'

The minimum wage increase is expected to affect one million Michiganders.

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