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The Board of State Canvassers is set to review petitions on issues from abortion rights to wages

Members of the group stand near a lectern. They are wearing t-shirts and carrying signs supporting "One Fair Wage."
Alice Yin
/
AP Photo

A petition to raise Michigan’s minimum wage will likely move another step toward signature-gathering. Its summary language is scheduled for consideration at a Board of State Canvassers meeting tomorrow. The Board will also consider language for petitions on abortion rights and election audits.

Wages

One petition calls for Michigan to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Chantel Watkins is the treasurer for the group Raise the Wage Michigan. She said this is the group’s second push to raise the minimum wage.

Watkins noted the state’s current minimum wage is $9.87. Those are “poverty wages,” Watkins said, especially in times of high inflation.

“Prices are going up and they have been for years. They continue to rise whether people are making more money or not. What it’s going to do when people are making more money is stimulate the economy?” she asked.

Summary approval by the board is not required, but it’s a step often taken to shield against lawsuits as the petition moves toward a statewide vote.

Abortion rights and election audits

The board is also scheduled to consider summary language for petitions to constitutionally guarantee abortion rights.

Merissa Kovach is a policy strategist with the ACLU of Michigan. She said the ballot campaign to guarantee abortion rights will determine its next steps based on Wednesday’s meeting.

“But we do feel confident that this is something that would be supported by Michigan voters and it were—we go out into and we collect and we’re collecting signatures within the next couple of weeks, we feel pretty confident that we can collect the signatures required to qualify for the ballot,” she said.

Canvassers will also consider a petition to create a so-called “forensic audit board" to review Michigan elections.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.