Daily Pat Political Point–Michigan’s Pro-Worker Ballot Initiatives–May 31, 2018

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May 31, 2018

Daily Pat Political Point. Michigan could have a bevy of ballot proposals that will make the state a more attractive place to live, work, and play.

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Michigan could undergo some major changes, if the people have their say.

A flurry of initiatives could possibly make it on the November ballot, giving hard-working Michiganders some much-needed help.

We already know that marijuana legalization has already qualified for a citizen vote. The Republican state legislature is scrambling to find ways to pass a pot legalization bill to nullify the initiative, but they only have until June 5th to get something done, and it’s not looking like that will happen.

A group advocating for a modest minimum wage hike of $12 by 2022, and $12 per hour for tipped workers, has submitted more than enough signatures to get that proposal on the ballot. We’ll probably learn later this summer if the state Board of Canvassers grant the proposal access on the ballot this November.

The Republican state legislature blocked a similar proposal from reaching voters by passing a minimum wage hike bill of its own. That bill slowly inched the wage higher during the last few years, reaching to its current $9.25 an hour mark.

However small the increase, state Republicans proved that government can get involved in setting new minimum wages. So, why can’t the people?

And while jobs have increased for the last few years, wage growth isn’t exactly going through the roof for working Americans.

Another proposal calling for paid sick leave could also make it on the November ballot.

A group called Michigan Time to Care turned-in enough signatures for a proposal calling for at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

The organizer says she’s open to even more compromise to help smaller businesses.

This would help people stay home rather than come to work while sick, and thereby making their coworkers sick!

More pay and some paid sick time would help Michigan attract more people to the state, and perhaps lessen the turnover rate at some of these jobs.

Add to that the possibility of putting other proposals on the ballot, such as putting redistricting in the peoples’ hands, and allowing no-reason absentee and straight party ticket voting, Michiganders might the power to make real political change this year.

After nearly a decade of state government catering over and over to big money interest, this is great news.

pat@wsgw.com

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