Minimum wage vote campaign postponed to 2024
A Michigan group turned in signatures on Wednesday for a 2022 ballot proposal to limit interest and fees charged by payday lenders that they say trap low-income borrowers in cycles of debt.
Meanwhile, organizers of a ballot to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour have announced they will no longer try to qualify for the 2022 ballot and will instead aim for 2024.
“Payday lenders have used the lure of quick money to prey on vulnerable Michiganders for too long,” Michiganders for Fair Lending spokesman Josh Hovey said in a statement. “These extreme interest rate loans are designed to trap people in an endless cycle of debt, and we’re giving voters a chance this fall to fix the problem.”
The group, which needs about 340,000 valid voter signatures, said it has submitted about 405,000.
Raise the Wage MI said it has collected nearly 500,000 signatures from voters but wants to submit 600,000 “out of an abundance of caution” after paid circulators working for Republican gubernatorial candidates forged signatures. The deadline for submitting signatures for the initiated legislation was Wednesday.
The minimum wage, now $9.87 an hour, will gradually increase each year to reach $12.05 in 2031 under current law. It would gradually increase to $15 by 2027, then increase with inflation as part of the ballot proposal, which would also increase a lower hourly minimum for tipped employees until it equals the minimum. for all workers.
“The most important thing for us is that a million workers in Michigan get $15 an hour, and that’s the path that gives us that victory,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, a national group behind the Michigan campaign.
Also on Wednesday, the Let MI Kids Learn voting committee said it would wait to file signatures for proposals that would authorize a system that critics liken to a voucher program.
Measures backed by former U.S. Secretary of Education and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos would allow Michigan students to attend private schools and pay other education costs with scholarship accounts funded by individuals and corporations who would obtain equivalent income tax credits for their donations.
Campaign spokesman Fred Wszolek said he would continue to collect signatures for a few weeks to secure enough to withstand any challenges.
The group believes the state could consider the petitions later this year, in time for the legislature to pass the plan without Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer being able to veto it. It is unclear, however, whether that would be allowed or whether the initiatives would go to the Legislative Assembly next year, as Democrats hope to have a majority after the November election.
Secure MI Vote, a Republican-affiliated group aimed at toughening voter ID requirements, banning unsolicited mail-in ballot requests and making other election changes, also said it would wait approximately two weeks to submit signatures. The committee reported having 435,000 signatures.
Suffrage supporters are circulating petitions — due in July — for a constitutional amendment to expand voting options and negate the GOP initiative.
“If we submit today, we are confident that we have enough valid signatures to survive all challenges, but we would not have the cushion we need to be certain,” spokesman Jamie Roe said. .