A bill to raise the minimum wage in Michigan, by nearly two dollars was approved by the State Senate this week and is now headed to the House.
As we've said before, we are hesitant to endorse a hike in the minimum wage at this particular point in the state's recovery from the recession. Coupled with provisions from the Affordable Care Act, a two-dollar an hour, per employee burden may be more than some small businesses can handle.
That said, we also feel that if a hike is inevitable, the plan, as proposed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville is probably the best way to go.
Richardville's measure would tie the minimum wage to inflation with a cap. Under the bill, the minimum wage would rise from its current $7.40 to $9.20 by 2017.
It is naive to think the minimum wage will not, nor should not be raised. After all, the price of nearly every consumer good is considerably higher than 20 years ago so it stands to reason the minimum wage reflect that.
What has always concerned us is the sudden, significant hikes that seem to hit small businesses hardest.
Tying the minimum to inflation seems like a smoother, easier method than the abrupt hikes the federal government employs.
While we remain skeptical an increase in the minimum wage will do anything but than harm an economic recovery that is tenuous at best, we feel the Richardville plan makes more sense than the ballot initiative currently underway.