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MI Raise the Wage campaign headed to court

Flickr - John Englart

The petition campaign wants to boost the minimum wage in steps, winding up at $15 an hour by 2025

The campaign to boost the state minimum wage to $15 an hour is headed to court. That’s after the effort stalled last week at a critical stage.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked – two Republicans to two Democrats – on whether to send the question to the Legislature. If that fails, the question would go on next year’s statewide ballot.

Mark Brewer is the lawyer for Raise the Wage. He confirmed Monday the campaign will file a challenge. He said the campaign will seek a court order for the board to certify it has gathered the necessary petition signatures for a voter-initiated law to increase the state minimum wage.

“The only issue before the board on Friday was whether there were enough signatures – and there clearly were,” he told Michigan Public Radio.

The petition campaign wants to boost the minimum wage in steps – winding up at $15 an hour by 2025.

The board’s Republican members said language to modify the definition of employer under the initiative stood in the way of approval.

Brewer said the GOP members have that wrong, but regardless, the board delved into legal and political questions that were outside its purview. Brewer said the campaign could file with the Michigan Court of Appeals or go directly to the Michigan Supreme Court. He said there is plenty of time for courts to resolve the question before the deadline to finalize next year’s November ballot.

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