Michigan voters came out in numbers last week to protest the recent changes to the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws that were approved early this year.
The new bills, which passed the House and Senate during the lame-duck session, significantly alter the original legislation.
Coming from various cities across Michigan, women and men gathered outside the Capitol for half-an-hour before making their way to the Rotunda chanting “lame-duck has got to go.”
Roquesha O’Neil, a Detroit resident, traveled to Lansing to join the protests and express her displeasure with the lawmakers who amended the minimum wage bills.
“It’s a dangerous game they’re playing because they’re hurting and breaking our families,” she said.
The original version approved by lawmakers in September called for a gradual increase of the standard minimum wage from $9.25 per hour to $12 per hour by 2022. Tipped workers would have seen an increase from $3.52 per hour to $12 per hour by 2024.
But after the election, House Republicans introduced a scaled-back version of the law which would increase the standard minimum wages to $12.05 per hour and tipped wages to just $4.58 by 2030.
Last spring, more than 400,000 people signed a petition to increase the minimum wage from $9.25 to $12 per hour by 2022.
Peter Ruark, policy analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy, calls the changes “shameful” and says the new legislation does not reflect the will of the people.