The Latest: Senate votes to scale back wage, sick time laws
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the Michigan Legislature’s consideration of changes to minimum wage and paid sick time laws (all times local):
Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature has begun voting on bills that would substantially scale back citizen-initiated minimum wage and paid sick leave laws that a business lobby criticized as too expensive and burdensome, setting up expected court challenges if Gov. Rick Snyder signs them.
The Senate on Wednesday voted 26-12 almost entirely along party lines to advance two bills to the House, which could vote as early as next week.
One measure would delay increasing the minimum wage to $12 an hour to at least 2030, instead of 2022. Another bill would exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees from providing paid medical leave.
To prevent the citizen initiatives from going to voters earlier this month, where they would be much harder to change if voters had passed them, Republican legislators preemptively approved them in September so that they could alter them after the election with simple majority votes in each chamber.
Michigan legislators are considering changes to minimum wage increases and paid sick leave requirements months after they were enacted into law.
A Republican-controlled Senate committee is expected to vote on the revisions Wednesday, and the full Senate could follow later in the day.
It remains unclear exactly how the laws would be amended, but the business community wants them scaled back.
The laws began as ballot initiatives and were enacted by lawmakers rather than going to a public vote. Democrats are criticizing attempts to water down the laws in the same legislative session as unconstitutional and in violation of the will of the voters who backed Democrats in the election.
Lawmakers have enacted citizen initiatives seven times since approval of Michigan’s 1963 constitution but have never substantially scaled one back.