(MPRN-Lansing) Michigan started the New Year with a hike to the state’s minimum wage.
The wage was raised 35 cents. It’s now $9.25 cents an hour. But some in Michigan say that’s not enough.
One Fair Wage is circulating a petition to eventually raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour. Dr. Alicia Renee Farris is with One Fair Wage. She says the state needs a higher minimum wage so people can afford all the necessities like food and housing.
“That’s what’s most critical that we have people are able to meet their own basic needs and certainly have a slice of the pie of what we call the American Dream.”
Others say having a state minimum wage hurts workers more than it helps them. Michael LaFaive is the director of fiscal policy for the economically conservative Mackinac Center. He says having a mandated minimum wage can cause businesses to look for ways to reduce the number of jobs.
“Employers have to figure out if they can afford that. Whether or not they can maybe do something using technology or some other type of self-serve operation. I think one of the reasons we get our Diet Cokes ourselves at McDonalds today is because of minimum wage mandates.”
The current wage increase is part of a 20-14 law. It gave the state multiple increases over the last few years. This is the last scheduled increase. The minimum wage will now be determined by the state Treasury based on collected data.