Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he is pursuing the legislation as an alternative to a potential ballot initiative that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017 and give tipped restaurant workers the same base rate as other low-paid workers.Under Jones's proposal, full-time non-tipped workers would get a whopping $30 more a week, while tipped workers would get somewhere around the price of a latte. A worker making $8.15 an hour takes in less than $17,000 for a year of full-time work, well under the poverty level for a family of three. So basically, this proposal asks voters "if we give minimum wage workers slightly higher poverty wages, will you forget about that whole living wage business?" Hopefully Michigan's voters will be too smart to fall for that.
Raise Michigan needs to gather a minimum 258,088 valid voter signatures by May 28 to put the $10.10 proposal on the November ballot. In 2006, lawmakers kept a minimum wage hike off the ballot after agreeing to gradually increase the rate from $5.15 to $7.40 by July 2008.
Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones