It could be Labor Day before we know if the Michigan Supreme Court will issue an opinion on the constitutionality of the Michigan legislature action gutting the state minimum wage law. The GOP severely weakened the law and stripped out the provision that would have made $12 a minimum state wage for all workers, including tipped ones. The state’s highest court heard oral arguments last week.
Dr. Alicia Renee Ferris chairs the One Fair Wage Steering Committee. She says when more than 400,000 people signed a ballot initiative petition to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 they deserved to either have the proposal n the ballot or to have the legislature pass the proposal into law. But the lame duck GOP controlled Michigan legislature instead passed it – blocking it from reaching the ballot – only to later gut it.
“It was a deliberate effort to keep the proposal off of the ballot. It was the Michigan Court of Appeals that ordered us to be placed on the ballot. And then to have that pulled back – to put it into law for a few short months and then to pull it back during lame duck session just does not seem fair.”
The Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses wants the court to rule the legislature’s action was constitutional. Dr. Ferris says One Fair Wage for now has no plans to launch any do-over of the ballot proposal petitions. She says they will wait for the Michigan Supreme Court to act on the constitutionality question.