In October, campaign finance reports were due from committees mounting petition drives to put their pet issues on the state ballot in 2018. Both the minimum wage, and mandated paid sick leave proposals have reported enough money to give them a likely shot at getting the needed signatures to make it on the November 2018 ballot. The paid sick leave group (Michigan Time to Care) reported collecting $300,000 in the period between September 9th and October 20th. They spent $215,731 in that time with $191,000 of it going to a signature gathering firm, and ending with $240,378 still on hand for a total of just over $500,000 raised to date. The minimum wage group (Michigan One Fair Wage) has reported just over $500,000 on hand and ready to spend. Both groups received the bulk of their funds from labor unions or labor union front groups. With this amount of funding, these labor union backed “citizen” groups are on track to get all the signatures necessary to put both a mandated paid leave law and another hike in the minimum wage before state voters in November of 2018.
labor union backed “citizen” groups are on track to get all the signatures necessary to put both a mandated paid leave law and another hike in the minimum wage before state voters in November of 2018.
The paid leave mandate would force small businesses to provide one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours an employee works and they could take up to 72 paid leave hours per year (40 hours for employers with less than 10 workers). The minimum wage mandate would raise the minimum wage in Michigan to $12 an hour by 2022 and eliminate the tip credit for restaurant workers.
Under the Michigan Constitution, any citizen, or group of citizens, can initiate a law by collecting the required number of signatures on a petition for that purpose. If enough signatures are gathered and approved by the Board of State Canvassers, the proposal is introduced into the state legislature as a bill. The legislature has 40 days to act on the proposal. If they pass the proposal it becomes law – without approval by the Governor – and does not go on the statewide ballot. If the proposal becomes law by this action of the legislature, it can be amended or changed after passage with a simple majority vote of each chamber. If the proposal fails to garner enough votes for passage, or the legislature does nothing, then it will be put on the statewide ballot for a vote of the people in November of 2018. If the proposal is approved by the voters by a simple majority (51 percent), it becomes law. Any law passed on a statewide ballot by the voters cannot be changed by the state legislature without a three-fourths super-majority of each chamber.
The NFIB Research Foundation is already conducting econometric modeling to predict the potential job loss and other impacts these proposals will have on small business in Michigan. NFIB is organizing a coalition of business and free enterprise organizations to stop this assault on job providers and small business.