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Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones.
Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones
At least one Republican state senator is worried about the prospect of having a minimum wage initiative on November's ballot. State Sen. Rick Jones is hoping to undercut the momentum toward a vote on a $10.10 minimum wage by raising the state's $7.40 an hour minimum wage all the way to $8.15 an hour, with tipped workers getting a raise from $2.65 an hour all the way to $2.75.
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.

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.

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.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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