Jan 30, 2023 - Politics

Michigan court halts statewide minimum wage increase

Illustration of a twenty dollar bill on a restaurant ticket wheel.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

An increase to Michigan's minimum wage has been thwarted — for now.

Driving the news: A Court of Appeals panel ruled last Thursday that the Legislature's controversial adopt-and-amend tactic is constitutional.

  • The ruling dates back to 2018, when ballot initiatives that would have raised the state's minimum wage to $12 by 2022 and increased earned paid sick leave were adopted — keeping them off the November ballot — then amended by Republican-led Legislature during the same session.
  • At the time, Sen. Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) described the adopt-and-amend tactic as more of a "approve and remove," and "undo and screw.”

Catch up quick: Mothering Justice, the group that sued the Legislature for gutting the original proposal, earned a victory last July when Michigan Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro struck down the legislative amendments as unconstitutional.

  • Had his ruling stood, Michigan's hourly minimum wage would have jumped from $10.10 an hour to above $13 starting Feb. 19.
  • The tipped minimum wage would've been $11.73 until being eliminated on Jan. 1, 2024 to match the standard minimum wage.

What they're saying: "We are extremely disappointed by the Michigan Court of Appeals decision to side with the former Republican-controlled Legislature’s ‘adopt-and-amend’ shenanigans," Eboni Taylor, executive director of Mothering Justice, said in a statement.

What's next: Mothering Justice has indicated it will appeal the ruling.


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