The fate of minimum wage and sick leave changes passed by the Michigan legislature Dec. 4 is uncertain, as it remains to be seen whether outgoing Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will sign them into law, and the changes also may face legal challenges.
Supporters of a higher minimum wage and increased paid sick leave had gathered enough signatures to put both measures on the midterm election ballot, but they dropped their efforts after the state legislature in September passed measures that contained the language of the ballot initiatives.
If Snyder signs Senate Bill 1711, which amends the Earned Sick Time Act, then the minimum wage will gradually increase to approximately $12 an hour by 2030 instead of by 2022 under the original act. Also, after 2030, the minimum wage would not be indexed to inflation as it would have been.
Senate Bill 1175, passed by legislators to amend the Paid Medical Leave Act, would reduce the number of hours of paid sick leave a worker at a large company can earn. The original act allowed workers to earn an hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 72 hours of leave per year. The amendment would let workers earn an hour of leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 36 hours of sick time per year.
Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R) said the governor told him that he planned to sign the bills into law, The Hill reported. If signed, they would go into effect in March, barring legal challenges.
And legal challenges may be coming.
“Our campaign believes there is a very good legal argument that what the legislature did was illegal, and we will be exploring our legal options in the coming weeks,” said Danielle Atkinson, who is founding director of Mothering Justice and co-chairperson of the MI Time to Care coalition, which supported the original acts, Rewire.News reported Friday.
Also, supporters of the original ballot initiatives already have filed paperwork to start collecting signatures for a petition drive that would put the measures on the November 2020 ballot, according to Rewire.News.