Small Business Challenges in 2014
Big labor front groups and other union affiliated organizations began collecting signatures in 2014 to put an increase in the state minimum wage on the November ballot. The groups, calling themselves “Raise Michigan” sought to move the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017. The proposal they were pushing would also have eliminated the “tip credit” for restaurant and food service workers and indexed the higher wage to inflation.
NFIB has a long standing member position opposing any increase in the minimum wage at both the state and federal level. Common sense economics proves time and time again that increasing the minimum wage hurts those that it is intended to help with fewer job opportunities and a higher cost of living. NFIB efforts focused on defeating this ballot proposal with legislative action and, if that failed, at the polls.
The minimum wage coalition had to collect 258,088 signatures from registered Michigan voters by May 28 to get their proposal on the November ballot. Under their initiative petition, the Legislature would then have 40 days to approve the proposal. If it took no action or voted the measure down, it would then appear on the November 4th general election ballot.
However, the efforts by labor unions and social justice advocates to put a minimum wage hike on the November ballot were thwarted as lawmakers quickly passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage but derail the ballot proposal. In addition to a lesser minimum wage hike proposal than the ballot version, the new law put an end to the ballot effort by repealing the wage law that was the subject of the petition drive and replacing it with a new law.
While the new law passed by the legislature is better than the bought and paid for ballot
effort of organized labor and outside special interests, it is still a hardship for small business and is not helpful in the efforts to bring more jobs to our state.
NFIB will be continuing the fight against attempts by the Obama administration to hike the minimum
wage at the federal level.