The possibility of a long-overdue increase to Michigan’s minimum wage is on the horizon with the kickoff of the Raise Michigan campaign to put the issue before voters on the fall ballot.
If successful, it will raise Michigan’s $7.40 an hour wage minimum wage to $10.10 over three years and index it to inflation. It also includes a gradual increase of the $2.65/hour “tipped” wage for restaurant servers.
With so many problems to report on – rising income inequality, growing number of low-income working moms and shrinking windows of opportunity for our young people – it’s good to be able to talk about a positive solution.
Raising the wage would reduce the state’s poverty rate, decrease reliance on state assistance and boost local economies.
An increase would boost the incomes of nearly 1 million Michigan workers. Despite oft-repeated statements from opponents to the contrary, only 13% of that group are teens. Most are 20 and over and many are parents. In fact, 15% of all children in the state have a parent earning the minimum wage.
The proposal will index it to inflation. Without indexing, the minimum wage loses purchasing power over time. Since 1968, the minimum wage has lost more than 30% of its value, despite a few increases along the way.
Make sure to stay informed on this important development. There’s much work ahead – the campaign has until May 28 to collect nearly 259,000 valid signatures and there will be many volunteer opportunities. Make sure to connect at www.raisemichigan.com.
– Gilda Z. Jacobs