State Sen. Wayne Schmidt recently introduced a bill that would keep low real wages and go against the voter-approved One Fair Wage ballot initiative from 2018
In July 2022, Michigan workers won a major victory in the Court of Claims when the court restored the original language of the 2018 One Fair Wage ballot initiative approved by voters. However, anti-worker legislators are now trying to undermine voters by proposing legislation that would go against the purpose of the One Fair Wage ballot initiative. Gov. Whitmer must be prepared to veto this attempt to decrease the real wages of Michigan workers and stand with voters and the ruling by the Court of Claims.
In 2018, Michigan voters raised the minimum wage to $12 per hour, with tipped workers’ wages to be raised to the same minimum wage as other workers soon after. This was achieved via the original language of the One Fair Wage ballot initiative. Now anti-worker legislators are attempting to undermine voters. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, State Sen. Wayne Schmidt introduced SB 1233. This bill would set back these wage increases to 2030 by delaying inflationary increases until 2024, and it would keep tipped workers’ wages at 40% of the minimum wage.
If passed, SB 1233 would continue to keep low-wage workers in poverty. The delayed timeline proposed by SB 1233 would keep wages lower than they were decades ago due to inflation. It would also shift costs from employers to the taxpayers when families require assistance due to not being given the wages required to stay on top of the ever-increasing cost of living.
It is long past time for the minimum wage to reflect today’s economic reality. Michiganders need wages that will allow them to afford housing, healthy food, education, healthcare, and other vital necessities. Voters agree, and that is why Michiganders passed the 2018 ballot initiative. The courts have also sided with voters and ruled that original language must be upheld and adopted into law. Gov. Whitmer must demonstrate that she stands with the workers of Michigan and veto SB 1233 if it’s passed by the legislature.