Group calls governor to veto minimum wage, paid sick leave bills

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The republican led legislature voted to scale back the state's minimum wage increase and paid sick time laws in lame duck and citizen groups are up in arms about it.

Organizers set-up phone banks across the state, calling voters to inform them about the changes, urging them to dial the governor's number and demand a veto on the bills.

“400,000 people went and signed paid sick time and minimum wage bills because they wanted it on the ballot they wanted people to have the choice whether or not they wanted to raise their wages”, said Aaron Stephens from For Our Future Michigan.

“The legislature said no, no, no, we don't trust the people to do that so they went ahead and passed it just so after the election happened so they could repeal huge aspects of it.”

The minimum wage law was set to increase to $12 an hour by 2022 and required employers to give workers nine sick days a year.

The republican changes altered minimum wage to "$12.05 an hour by 2030, dropping sick days down to four a year, which excludes companies with less than 50 employees.

“What we had was a ballot initiative and we're responsible for looking at it and we can within 40 days take it up and vote on it”, said Republican Senator Rick Jones.

“Well we did that. Then that allows us to change it a little bit if we need to and we felt we needed to keep people working.”

Senator Jones told news 10 the changes will keep employers from turning to automation and job cuts.

Senate democrats believe the changes were made for different reasons.

“These bills would have given protection for a higher wage and would of protected sick leave for individuals”, Senator Hertel explained.

“I think they did the bidding of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and some of the big groups who invest in their campaigns, they violated the Michigan Constitution and they violated the will of the people.”

But were the changes unconstitutional?

Senator Jones says, “Political non-sense. You can sue for anything, go ahead”.

The final decision on whether or not these bills become law are now in the power of the governor's pen.

So far Governor Snyder has been silent on the issue but senate leaders say they expect him to sign the bills.