Tag Archives: State Senate

State House Republicans’ DPS plan hits unions, slows return to local control

old-school-signState House Republicans are offering their own proposal to aid Detroit Public Schools.

Like similar legislation in the state Senate, the bills would restructure the state’s largest district and commit more than $70 million a year from the state to help pay down its debt. Continue reading

Drama at state Senate medical marijuana hearing, main proponents drop support

A state Senate sergeant asking Marine Corps veteran and medical marijuana patient Dakota Serna to leave a hearing after making disparaging remarks about law enforcement officials.

A state Senate sergeant asking Marine Corps veteran and medical marijuana patient Dakota Serna to leave a hearing after making disparaging remarks about law enforcement officials.

A hearing on bills to create legal protections for medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan sparked some drama on Tuesday.

Many patients now oppose the legislation, in part because it creates new taxes on medical marijuana sales.
Continue reading

Lawmakers looking for new road funding ideas

DSC07421State lawmakers are hitting the reset button on talks over how to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.

A state Senate workgroup met for the first time Thursday to hammer out a solution. Senators and staff involved in the meeting say it consisted of members offering wide ranging ideas for how to address the issue.
Continue reading

MI Senate fails to pass comprehensive road funding package

Michigan Capital Building

Michigan Capital Building

Attempts in the Legislature to come up with more than $1 billion a year to fix roads fell apart late Wednesday night. After about 15 hours of trying to pass proposals to fix the roads, the Senate went home after midnight with no deal.
Continue reading

State Senate votes to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $9.20 an hour

Stack of MoneyA bill to raise Michigan’s minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour by 2017 has cleared the state Senate.

The bill is really an attempt by Republicans in Lansing to kill a petition drive that would raise the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour – including for tipped workers.

“I was afraid that, if this ballot proposal was passed, that it would be detrimental to the work we’ve done the last three years,” said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, who sponsored the bill. “So, it’s kind of a compromise. We’re taking a step in that direction, but we’re not jumping off the cliff.”

“What we did was we replaced it. And I think what we came up with was a far better answer to the question than what was being proposed.”

Under Senate Bill 934, tipped workers making the minimum wage would also get an 85-cent raise. The minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped workers would be tied to inflation after 2017. That’s unless the state’s unemployment rate rises above 10%.

Any yearly increase in the minimum wage could not exceed 4%.

A previous version of the bill would have set the minimum wage at $8.15 an hour, and $2.93 for tipped workers.

Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer has been calling for a similar increase in the state’s minimum wage. He personally thanked Richardville for passing the bill in front of reporters Thursday after the vote.

“Thank you, Randy. Great job today. Congratulations,” he told the Republican leader.

“We are better in Michigan than having people work full time and living in poverty,” Schauer told reporters minutes earlier. “$7.40 an hour is a poverty wage. $8.15, which was introduced last week, is a poverty wage. This is a significant increase.”

But the bill has also drawn criticism from both political parties.

Some Democrats still oppose the legislation. They say it does not go far enough.

And a spokesperson for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, says he has “grave concerns” about raising the state’s minimum wage.

The bill now goes to the state House.

The Raise Michigan campaign says the measure will not stop it from turning in its petition signatures.