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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: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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