Lawmakers Vote to Pull Minimum Wage-Paid Leave off Ballot!

Date: September 05, 2018

NFIB efforts were successful in keeping bad proposals off the ballot

Charlie Owens with NFIB (center) and Tony Stamas with SBAM (left) talk with a reporter at the state Capitol building

As you may be aware, NFIB in Michigan has been working since the fall of last year to head off efforts by union-backed, out of state groups to put both a mandated paid leave law and a minimum wage hike before state voters in November 2018.

When we asked you on our 2018 Michigan State ballot-survey if the legislature should stop mandated Minimum Wage and Paid Leave Proposals from going to a statewide ballot, 79 percent of our members that responded said YES and another 88 percent agreed that the legislature should make changes to these proposals to lessen their impact on small business. Since then, we have been working to communicate the small business position on these proposals to our elected officials in the House, Senate, and Governor’s office.

Today those efforts were rewarded with a vote in the House and Senate to adopt the two ballot proposals so that they will NOT go to the November ballot and can be changed with a simple majority vote of both chambers.

This action by the House ends months of behind the scenes efforts by NFIB and other groups to keep the Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage mandate proposals off the November statewide ballot. Those efforts included a challenge to the legitimacy of the petition signatures before the Board of State Canvassers and court action on the minimum wage proposal. NFIB worked all through the summer to shore up votes from the Republican members of the House to adopt the proposals within the 40 session days during which changes could be made.

If the legislature had not adopted these proposals and allowed them to proceed to the statewide November ballot, these same out of state groups were poised to spend millions of dollars in funds from their hidden donors to mislead the public into believing that they were going to get something for nothing. Polling data showed that the general public would vote for these proposals because they are ignorant of the costs and impacts on jobs and small business. In every other state where these groups have been successful in getting these proposals on a state-wide ballot, they have been passed by voters with wide margins.

If these proposals had passed in November, Michigan’s Constitution would require a three-fourths super-majority of both legislative chambers to make any changes to the law. This is an impossible requirement to meet and Michigan would be stuck with the most stringent paid sick leave and minimum wage employer mandate in the country.

While we have avoided this outcome with the action by the legislature today, we now begin the new task of negotiating changes to these bad proposals in the remaining days of the upcoming “lame duck” session.

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