LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder on Friday signed bills to water down voter-initiated increases to the state minimum wage and employer-paid sick time, pleasing the business community but dashing hopes among many Michiganders that he would veto the lame-duck bills.
“I look at legislation presented to me through a policy lens — is it the right policy for the state of Michigan and Michiganders as a whole?" Snyder said in a news release.
"That’s what I did with these bills and have now signed them into law,” Snyder said. “I looked at what the potential impacts and benefits of the changes would be and decided that signing these bills was the appropriate action.”
The proposals had been headed for the Nov. 6 ballot but the Legislature voted on the measures before the election to keep them off the ballot. That allowed the Legislature to amend the proposals after the election with a simple majority instead of a three-quarters majority.
The change from $12 to $12.05 was an attempt to make up for the fact that the new bill no longer ties hourly wages to the rate of inflation. The current $9.25 minimum wage, which was passed in 2014, ties the wage to the rate of inflation that would have ended up increasing the minimum wage to more than $12 by 2030.
Paid sick time, which was supposed to accrue to one hour for every 30 hours worked, or 72 hours per year, was cut to one hour for every 35 hours worked, or a maximum of 40 hours per year. And businesses with 50 or fewer employees were exempted from the paid sick time provisions. The ballot proposal would have exempted businesses with five or fewer employees.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.