Bill to raise state minimum wage to $9.20 passes through Michigan Senate

Ten Democrats and fourteen Republicans in the Michigan State Senate, including Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), came together Thursday to pass legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage by $1.80 an hour in three years time.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville’s proposal, Senate Bill 934, would raise Michigan’s minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour by 2017. Richardville initially introduced the bill on May 8th with a hike of only 75 cents to $8.15 an hour. Despite overwhelming Democratic approval for the compromise, critics from the Raise Michigan coalition see it as a preventive measure for their ballot proposal which would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10.

If that initiative made it through the legislative process, full-time minimum wage workers would stand to make an estimated salary of $21,008 before taxes. Currently, in Michigan, they take in about $15,392 a year. If Senate Bill 934 passes through the House, full-time employees’ annual salary would jump to $16,952 by September, $17,680 by January, $18,408 by 2016, and $19,136 by 2017.

The substitute bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from $2.65 to $3.50 an hour. Although the bipartisan measure made it through the Senate with a 24-14 tally, it’s fate is less certain in the House, which is expected to be discussed sometime next week.