Minimum Wage Deal Makes Waves on Mackinac Island

Min%20Wage%20StillMACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (May 28, 2014) – Political and business leaders from across Michigan are at the Grand Hotel for the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference.

But when the event was just getting underway on Tuesday, all eyes remained on Lansing where minimum wage was being debated.

Ultimately, lawmakers were able to strike a bipartisan deal increasing the wage floor, while also killing a petition drive that would have pushed pay even higher.

Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber Of Commerce, told FOX 17 he has been hearing concerns from the west Michigan business community.

“The added cost,” Baker said. “We are in a decent economy, but it’s still fragile. It doesn’t take much to knock it off its game a little bit.”

Baker acknowledged it could have been worse.

Raise Michigan collected signatures across the state in an effort to put a proposal on the November ballot that would have increased the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

“I guess it’s probably bittersweet,” said Baker. “At least this way there’s a little more thought and involvement and control, so to speak.”

Governor Rick Snyder spoke more optimistically about the compromise.

“It’s much better than the ballot proposal,” Snyder said. “$10.10 for tipped workers in the ballot proposal could have been devastating to our hospitality and tourism industry in the state. This is a good outcome.”

Raise Michigan was expected in Lansing Wednesday to hand in signatures the group collected.

“I think those who were circulating petitions should take credit for what the legislature did,” said Mark Schauer, democratic candidate for governor. “They should take credit for the fact that minimum wage earners will see an increase from $7.40 an hour $9.25 an hour.”

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