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Nathan Newman on March 14, 2006 - 9:14pm
Illustrating the political juggernaut of the nationwide minimum wage movement, the Michigan House voted today to raise the minimum wage $1.80 per hour-- the first increase in nine years. The state Senate unanimously approved the wage increase last week, so the bill will go to the Governor. Polls showed 74% support for raising the minimum wage and a ballot initiative is heading for the November ballot; the Republican leadership stated that they enacted the minimum wage increase to try to prevent undercut the provision in the initiative that would index the minimum wage to inflation in the future. The bill enacted by the legislature also lacks some of the tough enforcement language contined in the ballot initiative, including a fine under the initiative of not less than $1000 per week for employers violating the minimum wage. It is unclear whether the signature gathering will go forward on the initiative, but just starting the process has delivered a raise to 464,000 Michigan workers.