Bill Would Increase Michigan's Minimum Wage

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LANSING - Today, Senator Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) introduced a bill that would incrementally increase the state minimum wage to $10.00 per hour by 2015. Following that, the minimum wage would be linked to the rate of inflation as provided by the United States Department of Labor.

"As the economy continues to rebound from the Great Recession, hard-working men and women are still struggling to get by," Johnson said. "The costs of living continue to rise. Food, gas and other essential items get more expensive each year, but wages remain stagnant. This bill would provide much-needed support to Michiganders who work hard every day to support themselves and their families."

The legislation would raise the minimum wage to $7.90 by January 1st, 2013; to $8.40 by July 1st, 2013; to $9.00 by January 1st, 2014; to $9.50 by July 1st, 2014; and to $10.00 by January 1st, 2015. The current minimum wage is $7.40 per hour.

"A better minimum wage improves standards of living; stimulates consumption, and therefore job creation; and decreases the need for governmental assistance," Johnson said. "Today, Michigan taxpayers are subsidizing billion dollar corporations that pay their employees the currently inadequate minimum wage, because many of those earners still must rely on state assistance. My bill would shrink government spending and drive demand for products and services."

Indexing the minimum wage to inflation is central to the effectiveness of the wage standards. Without indexing, minimum wage workers lose purchasing power each year as the value of their wages continues to erode.

"It is time the Republican majority does something to benefit the people of Michigan, as opposed to raising citizens' taxes, eliminating tax credits for working families and slashing services in order to give taxpayer-funded handouts to their corporate benefactors," Johnson said. "For a year-and-a-half our friends, neighbors and family members have endured ongoing attacks against their livelihoods. By introducing this bill, I stand in lockstep with them."

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