Poll: Higher min. wage popular, split over plans

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A new EPIC-MRA poll shows Michigan voters are split over competing measures that would raise Michigan’s minimum wage.

Supporters of a proposed ballot proposal say they have enough signatures to get their measure on the November ballot. That proposal would raise the minimum in Michigan from $7.40 per hour to $10.10 per hour by 2017. The minimum wage for tipped employees, like restaurant servers, would increase to $3.50 per hour and then continue to increase by 85 cents each year until it reaches $10.10 per hour. After 2017 the minimum wage would increase by the rate of inflation. If a vote was taken today on this measure, 56% of people polled said they would vote Yes, and 39% would vote No.

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The most common reasons given by those against the plan include concerns it would increase costs (19%), Hurt Michigan’s economy (18%), and that minimum wage jobs are different than career jobs (16%).

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The poll also asked about support for a plan passed recently by the Michigan Senate. The Senate plan would raise Michigan’s minimum wage from $7.40 per hour to $9.20 per hour in four stages by 2017. In that same timeframe tipped employees would see their wages go from a minimum of $2.65 per hour to $3.50 per hour. After 2017 the minimum wage would go up by 4% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The measure is now being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives. Of those polled, 49% say they support the Senate plan, 42% say they oppose the plan.

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When asked which plan they would prefer, the poll shows support is roughly even. 39% said they would support the $10.10 ballot proposal, 38% would rather have the Michigan Senate plan. 18% told surveyors that they would not like either of the proposals to pass.

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The plan passed by the Michigan Senate would repeal the current minimum wage law, essentially killing the $10.10 ballot petition. 54% of those polled by EPIC-MRA said they disapproved of the Senate acting in a way that did away with the ballot petition, 29% responded that they approved of the Senate’s actions.

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The EPIC-MRA poll was taken between May 17th and May 20th. It surveyed 600 people by phone, 20% of those by cell phone. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4%

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