LANSING — Today, the House of Representatives voted on the One Fair Wage and MI Time to Care citizen ballot initiatives, which would increase the minimum wage and guarantee paid sick leave for all, respectively. The proposals passed. In response, state Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) issued the following statement:
“Although I signed these petitions and support both proposals that were put forward by over 400,000 Michiganders, and applaud their efforts in this beautiful display of direct democracy, I voted nay on both ballot initiatives.
“Passing these initiatives into law via the legislature, rather than a vote of the people, allows them to be amended using a simple majority vote (of the legislature) rather than a 3/4 majority vote, meaning that the Republican-controlled legislative majority can amend the new law using only their members. Simply put: this means that Republicans can come back in the future and easily ‘gut’ the provisions put into law in proposals.
“Don’t take my word for it, Republicans have already said this on the record. It is clear that the votes today were nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt by Republicans to keep these widely popular policies from being enacted as they were intended. We deserve better than the gutting of these initiatives by legislative Republicans who seek to subvert the democratic process, and I refused to help them do it.”