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Ballot Initiatives Face Challenges From Business Organizations


(MPRN-Lansing) Ballot proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage and require earned sick time are under fire. Both are being formally challenged. 

A group backed by the Michigan Restaurant Association is suing to block the minimum wage effort. The organization, called Michigan Opportunity, said the proposal doesn’t properly amend existing law and shouldn’t be on the ballot.

“It’s pretty clear cut by the peculiar means by which they drafted this initiative that they’ve violated Michigan’s constitution,”

said spokesperson for Michigan Opportunity, Justin Winslow.

But One Fair Wage disagrees. Their attorney, Mark Brewer, said the lawsuit is all based on technicalities – not legitimate arguments.

“This proposal would significantly raise the minimum wage in this state and provide a lot of other benefits for working folks and you can see from our perspective just how desperate the other side is to block that by the kind of technical legal arguments they’re making,” he said.

The minimum wage petition’s signatures have also been challenged. So have the signatures for the campaign for earned sick time, MI Time to Care. Opponents say some of the signatures are duplicates and others are of unregistered voters.

Londell Thomas is campaign manager for MI Time to Care. He said the campaign is confident it has enough valid signatures.

“Our campaign is going to continue to fight and ensure that the nearly 400-thousand Michiganders who signed that petition see it on the ballot in November,” he said.

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