UPDATE: Backers Want Voters to OK Minimum Wage of $9.50 in Michigan

By: AP
By: AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Backers of a minimum wage hike in Michigan say they'll ask voters to approve increasing the rate to $9.50 an hour and eventually bringing tipped employees to the same rate.

Frank Houston of the Raise Michigan ballot committee says proposed language for a ballot initiative was given to the Secretary of State's office on Monday.

Michigan's minimum wage is currently $7.40 an hour, slightly higher than the $7.25 federal minimum.

Under the proposal, the state's minimum wage would increase by 50 cents in January 2015, and again six months later. The final $1.10 increase would occur in January 2016.

The minimum wage for tipped employees is currently $2.65. That would increase 85 cents each year, starting in January 2015, until it reaches the minimum wage for other workers.

The Michigan Restaurant Association opposes this measure and issued the following statement: “We believe this is the wrong plan at the wrong time for Michigan’s fragile economy. With participation in the workforce at a 35 year low and Obamacare only adding to that problem, why make it even harder to get a job? Make no mistake, this government mandated wage hike that completely eliminates the tipped minimum wage will not only increase menu prices and cost Michigan jobs – it will put many restaurants out of business.” – Michigan Restaurant Association President & CEO Brian DeBano

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