The increase in the minimum wage was approved by bipartisan
votes in both chambers of the Republican-controlled Legislature.
The House vote was 76 to 34, while the Senate vote was 24 to 12.
Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill into law later
"This is something that is good for Michigan," Snyder told a
news conference. "It's good for the hard-working people of
Michigan and I believe economically sound."
The law ties the state's minimum wage to the rate of inflation
starting in 2019, capped at 3.5 percent per year, and sets the
minimum wage for workers earning tips such as waiters at 38
percent of the minimum wage for non-tipped workers.
Michigan's current minimum wage is $7.40 per hour for non-tipped
workers and $2.65 per hour for tipped workers.
Minimum-wage increases have been considered in 38 states this
year in a national push by Democrats. Minnesota was among the
states to approve an increase in the minimum wage to $9.50 per
hour for large businesses by August 2016.
President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the federal
minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25, but did not win the
backing of the Republican-led House of Representatives.
In Michigan, the approval of the minimum-wage hike came a day
before a deadline for a group to turn in signatures to put a
ballot proposal before voters to raise the minimum wage to
$10.10 per hour by 2017 and index wage increases to inflation.
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said he had concerns
about the ballot proposal.
"Restaurants, tourism, young people would have suffered," he
said. "I don't think it was the intent of those who drew up the
ballot proposal, but it had some serious problems in it."
By tying the increase in the minimum wage to an index, the
debate can be taken off the table for a long time, he added.
"Michigan families are working harder than ever, and they
deserve a raise," said Representative Tim Greimel, the House
(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Karen Pierog and
Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Jan Paschal and Eric
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