Advisory Opinion Regarding 2018 PA 368 & 2018 PA 369, Michigan Supreme Court, No. 159160, June 19, 2019  

Issue: Whether the Michigan Supreme Court should exercise its discretion to issue an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of the legislature enacting and amending an initiative in the same session.  

Summary: Michigan voters properly filed signatures to put two initiatives on the ballot to increase the minimum wage, phase out the tipped minimum wage, and require paid sick leave. The Michigan legislature voted to adopt the initiatives, taking them off the ballot, but then amended the statutes so that they bore little resemblance to the proposals put forward by Michigan voters.

The Michigan constitution gives the people of Michigan the power to propose laws and then vote to enact or reject those proposals. NELP’s brief argues that the legislature improperly usurped that right by denying voters the ability to vote on the initiatives they put forward. Raising the minimum wage is supported by voters and small business owners. The bulk of modern research shows that raising it can lift workers out of poverty without harming businesses.  

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