New proposal in favor of raising minimum wage - WNEM TV 5

New proposal in favor of raising minimum wage

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The call for a higher minimum wage is resonating throughout the country and it's being heard in Michigan.

A new proposal introduced would raise the state minimum wage from $7.40 an hour to $8.15 an hour.

It comes at a time when many states are raising the minimum wage at the request of U.S. President Obama. In his State of the Union speech, the president has called on states to raise the minimum to $10.10 an hour.

At least 13 states are considering a wage hike, and that now will likely include Michigan.

It's a proposal some lawmakers haven't even seen yet.

"I haven't even looked at it. I just heard about it the other day. We haven't talked about it in caucus," State Senator Mike Green said.

State representative Charles Brunner said the republican proposal falls far short of what's needed to help working families, a difference of 75 cents per hour.

"I think there needs to be more of a bump than that. It hasn't kept up with inflation, working families are struggling and I think we desperately need to increase the minimum wage," Brunner said. 

There's another dynamic at play with regard to raising the minimum wage. President Obama recently proposed raising it nationwide to $10.10. While some say that could cripple the economy, others say it would catapult 900,000 families out of poverty. 

Brunner said that proposal is ultimately the one he would favor. 

"I think we can to that amount, so those working families can have a shot. Because at the end of the day that's what makes the economy go," Brunner said.

Green said the people should decide.

"It's great if we can take an issue and give it to the people and let them decide what we do. If that's the process, I support the process," Green said.

The debate doesn't end there. Some insists it should be decided by a ballot question so in the end, the voters may be the final voice.

The proposal would also raise the minimum wage for servers from $2.65 an hour to $2.75 an hour.

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