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Minimum wage hike initiative fails to make 2024 ballot

Cashier gives back change to customer
Posted at 9:09 PM, Jun 04, 2024
  • A ballot initiative to increase Michigan's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2027 fails to make the November ballot.
  • The state Supreme Court rejected a request to review the initiative.
  • The State Board of Canvassers was deadlocked in a 2-2 vote last fall before sending the initiative to the high courts

An attempt to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Michigan has failed.
The state Supreme Court rejected a request to review the initiative started by Raise the Wage Michigan.

This is after the Michigan State Board of Canvassers failed to approve or deny the ballot last fall in a 2-2 deadlock sending the decision to the high courts.

The board's vice chair Richard Houskamp, who voted against approving the measure, said the form the board received from Raise the Wage Michigan was different from the form given to the public.

The language in the original proposal applied to employers with two or more workers.

"What was brought to the public was a petition that said only employers with 21 or more employees," Houskamp said. "If the petition had matched the original approved form there would've been no question we would've approved it."

Richard Houskamp, vice chair of the Michigan State Board of Canvassers

Michigan's minimum wage increased from $10.10 to $10.33 an hour on January 1, 2024. It's slated to gradually increase to $12 an hour by 2030.

That pace is too slow for workers like Amrit Lallit at Market on the Square in downtown Lansing.

"People can't be working two or three jobs just to pay for your basic necessities," Lallit said. "40 hours a week doesn't pay anything."

But while Lallit would like to see an increase in the minimum wage he knows that prices will go up with it. Lallit says it's a delicate balance that needs to be met.

"We would need help trying to expand our business but with our prices, we got to keep our prices low," Lallit said. "[At $15 an hour] we would have to sell three or four things to pay for that one person."

Raise the Wage must now restart its process in order to get their petition on the 2026 ballot.

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