Bill may thwart $10.10 minimum wage plan

In this Sept. 24, 2011 photo, state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville addresses the Republican Leadership Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A top Republican in the Michigan Legislature is proposing legislation that could thwart a ballot drive to gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

The bill introduced Thursday by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville would increase the hourly wage from $7.40 to $8.15 in September. But by repealing the existing minimum wage law and enacting a new one, the bill could render moot a ballot initiative amending the current law.

Labor-related groups and others are collecting signatures to put their higher wage increase to voters in November. Signatures are due this month.

The last time legislators approved a minimum wage increase, in 2006, Republicans struck a deal with Democrats after it became apparent a ballot proposal was likely to pass if it got to voters.

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