Leaders head to Mackinac Island for Policy Conference


MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — Government leaders and businessmen began to gather Tuesday evening on Mackinac Island for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

Among the issues sure to be the talk of the event is raising the minimum wage. Republicans in the Senate came up with a plan to raise the minimum wage to $9.25 by 2018 and got Democrats to go along with it. It was not smooth sailing in the House, but a deal was cut. Representatives passed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the governor, who signed it.

That measure will likely kill a ballot proposal that could drive the Democratic base to the polls during the November general election.

Getting that issue resolved could clear the way for some cooperation on two other issues sure to be hot topics on the island. Many conference attendees will be looking for a bipartisan effort on the nearly $195 million Detroit financial package that passed the House but has not yet been taken up in the Senate.

There will also be talk of whether enough Democrats and Republicans can agree to raising taxes enough to fix Michigan roads.

And the November election is looming. An EPIC-MRA poll released Tuesday indicates that Gov. Rick Snyder has a lead over his Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. The impact of minimum wage, Detroit and roads deals on that election has yet to be seen.

24 Hour News 8’s Rick Albin is on Mackinac Island and will have continuing coverage of the conference, which runs through Friday. He’ll have interviews with Snyder and Schauer, as well as U.S. Senate candidates Terri Lynn Land and Gary Peters.

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