LANSING, Mich., May 6, 2022 — State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) offered an amendment yesterday to House Bill 5780, the Department of Corrections 2022-2023 fiscal year budget bill. The amendment sought to grant a $1 per hour wage increase for the 32,000 state prisoners employed by the department within correctional facilities. Some Michigan prisoners currently receive as little as nine cents an hour. Johnson issued the following statement after House Republicans refused to adopt the amendment:

“No one in 2022 should be paid mere pennies an hour. It’s just flat-out wrong. My amendment would have helped end such barbaric practices impacting 32,000 people in our state, but some of my colleagues must want modern-day slavery to continue in our prisons. The people in our prisons deserve fairer compensation for their contributions to our economy, and I will not stop fighting for them until they do.”