Michigan House OKs bill banning local minimum wage laws
Lansing — Local governments in Michigan would be prohibited from setting local minimum wages or other requirements for employers under a bill passed Wednesday in the Republican-controlled House.
The bill is a broader version of one that died in the House during last year’s lame-duck session. The new version strips the provision that would have prohibited community benefits agreements, but it was otherwise expanded to prohibit local governments from passing ordinances that would regulate wages, unpaid leave, scheduling, benefits, apprenticeships or training programs and more.
Minority Democrats and other opponents, including local government associations, say the bill is too broad and could have unintended consequences.
Democrats offered more than a dozen amendments that failed without a vote, proposing such changes as removing the prohibition on requiring training programs, removing language that would prevent setting local minimum wages and striking a section of the bill that prevents any local government regulation of “the relationship between an employer and its employees or potential employees if the regulation contains requirements exceeding those imposed by state or federal law.”
Democratic Rep. Jeremy Moss from Southfield said that provision is too broad and will create lawsuits that would be “a trial lawyer’s dream come true.”
Bill sponsor Rep. Earl Poleski, R-Jackson, said the bill is needed to create consistency and better promote economic development in the state. He pointed to the recent adoption of a $15-an-hour minimum wage in Los Angeles as an example of a movement that could affect Michigan’s business climate.
Groups supporting the bill echoed the need for statewide consistency in their testimony during committee hearings. Supporters include the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Restaurant Association, Michigan Retailers Association, Small Business Association of Michigan and Michigan Manufacturers Association.
Groups opposing the bill include the Michigan branches of the UAW and AFL-CIO.
The bill passed the House 57-52, with several Republicans joining minority Democrats in voting against the bill.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.