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State Legislature passes minimum wage and earned paid sick time proposals

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
It costs a lot of money to go to college.

Two measures that were headed to the November ballot are now law. The state Legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum wage and allow employees to get earned sick time. However, the laws do not take immediate effect.

Some supporters of the proposals are now concerned about what the Legislature will do next.

The Legislature passed the measures instead of the voters, so it can make changes to the laws with a simple majority. But if the voters had passed the measures, the Legislature would have needed a 3/4 majority for any amendments.

So, now some supporters of the proposals are worried the Republican-led Legislature will gut the laws.

But Speaker of the House Tom Leonard says that’s not true.

“Right now, no plan has been put in place. We wanted to make certain that the Legislature will continue to have a say in this process,” he says.

Senator Jim Ananich is the leader of the Senate Democrats. They voted against the measures – even though they support the policies.

“It’s difficult, there’s no question about it. And if I thought they were actually going to raise people’s wages and actually get people paid sick leave, I would be the most strongest champion ever. But when it’s a scam on the voters I have a problem with that, and it’s a scam on workers all across the state,” says Ananich.

There are still some proposals for voters in November. So far, a measure to change how the state draws its district lines and a measure to legalize marijuana are on the ballot.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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