LANSING (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - "Raise Michigan" submitted petition language last week that would have increased Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 per hour to $9.50 per hour by 2017.
The group said it now plans to amend that petition language to boost the wage to $10.10 per hour, the same wage hike suggested by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech last month.
Frank Houston, director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center in Michigan, which is part of the coalition supporting the wage increase, said recent national and state polls have showed support for an increase to $10-per-hour or more.
A poll done earlier this month by EPIC/MRA, a Lansing polling firm, showed 60% of the 600 Michiganders surveyed supported a minimum wage increase to $10 an hour, while 36% said they would vote no and 4% were undecided.
The wage hike would be indexed to inflation. The proposal also would raise the wage of tipped workers, such as wait staff and bartenders, from $2.65 per hour to $10.10 per hour at a rate of 85-cents per year.
The State Board of Canvassers will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday to consider the ballot proposal language. If approved, the group has until July 7 to gather 258,088 valid signatures of Michigan voters to qualify for legislative consideration of the proposal. If the Legislature rejects the petition, or does nothing with it, the proposal will go to the statewide ballot in November.
Michigan's minimum wage was last bumped up in 2008. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.