Michigan gov signs controversial minimum wage, paid sick leave laws

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed two controversial measures into law Friday that critics say go against the ...

Posted: Dec 15, 2018 2:17 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2018 2:17 PM

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed two controversial measures into law Friday that critics say go against the will of voters by watering down changes to the state's minimum wage and medical leave rules after Republicans removed more aggressive proposals from the November ballot.

Snyder's decision comes as another outgoing Republican governor, Wisconsin's Scott Walker, approved measures to roll back some executive powers, just as Democrat Tony Evers is set to take over the governor's office there.

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Democrats have seen parallels to Wisconsin in neighboring Michigan, where Democratic candidates swept the statewide races and state Republican lawmakers have sought to push through legislation at odds with Democratic priorities during a contentious lame-duck session.

But Snyder had not revealed whether he would sign or veto some of the most controversial bills, including those concerning the minimum wage and mandatory sick pay.

The new law will raise the state minimum wage at a slower rate than a ballot initiative would have proposed -- before state Republicans removed the question from the ballot by approving it themselves, and then rolling it back in the lame duck session after the election.

The other controversial measure signed into law Friday will also mandate fewer hours of paid sick leave than the language originally approved for the ballot initiative -- 40 hours versus 72 hours in the original proposal, for companies with more than 50 employees.

The outgoing Republican governor said Friday he reached his decision on those measures after assessing the proposals "through a policy lens -- is it the right the policy for the state of Michigan and Michiganders as a whole?"

"The two bills I signed today strike a good balance between the initial proposals and the original legislation as drafted," Snyder added.

But Democrats say Snyder and Republicans are flouting what voters want in favor of their own policy goals, just days before Democrats are set to take power.

"If it wasn't clear before, it should be clear now that this governor has zero respect for the voters," said Jim Ananich, the top Democrat in the state Senate.

A spokesperson for Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer did not immediately issue a statement, and a spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, who helped organize the protests at the state capitol this week, told CNN: "We're extremely disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised."

Snyder's "term can't come to an end fast enough," Scott said.

Some Michigan Democrats have remained hopeful that Snyder would veto some of the most controversial pieces of legislation, citing his reputation as more of a pragmatist than a partisan.

"I hope he'll stand up here as a last measure of his governance," state Sen. Curtis Hertel, told CNN on Monday. "He's got a decision to make on his own legacy: whether he wants to be the governor that radically changed Michigan's government, the governor that went around the will the people, or if he is willing to stand up and say, 'This is wrong.' "

This won't be the last decision facing Snyder as the lame-duck session continues.

Other bills have been working their way through the state Legislature to chip away at powers of the secretary of state and attorney general, which Democrats have held up as evidence of an attempted Republican "power grab."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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