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Minimum wage, voting audit ballot drives advance in Michigan

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Posted at 1:20 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 13:20:01-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers of 2022 ballot drives to raise Michigan’s minimum wage and conduct another audit of the presidential election cleared a procedural step Wednesday when the state elections board approved summaries to appear atop their petitions.

The groups likely will wait to begin collecting signatures until the canvassers also OK the format of their petitions at a later date. Members of the bipartisan four-person board were split over a 100-word summary for a proposed constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights and continued to debate the language during a meeting that stretched into the afternoon.

The minimum wage, now $9.87 an hour, will gradually rise annually to $12.05 in 2031 under current law. It would gradually increase to $15 by 2027 and then go up with inflation under the Raise the Wage ballot initiative.

Organizers of the wage proposal and the audit measure both need roughly 340,000 valid voter signatures to send their initiatives to the Republican-led Legislature and, if lawmakers do not adopt them, to the November ballot.

Reproductive Freedom for All, the group behind the abortion initiative, must submit about 425,000 valid signatures because the proposal would amend the state constitution. Michigan still has a 90-year-old abortion ban on its books if the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.