Tim Skubick: Too far too fast? - KMSP-TV

Tim Skubick: Too far too fast?

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LANSING, Mich (WJBK) -- Don't spend that minimum wage increase just yet…or maybe never.

Despite the euphoria over the bi-partisan vote in the state senate last week to bump the wage to $9.20 and hour, the prospects for the measure clearing the house are going south, shoved there by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

"We believe the minimum wage goes too far too fast," complains CEO Rick Studley.  Seems the chamber has a long standing aversion to indexing the wage to inflation so that when the Consumer Price Index increases, the wage would automatically go up as well without a legislative vote.

Senate Democrats loved that provision and without it they would have opposed the GOP sponsored plan.

It's assumed that if Mr. Studley convinces his side to extricate the CPI from the bill, Democrats will go south, too.

All this combines to cast an ominous cloud over the wage debate.

The irony in all this is that Mr. Studley has been a long time advocate of fixing the roads with new revenue and to do that he will need Democrats.

But an insider revealed the other day, if the minimum wage thing goes down, Democrats may not be around to play ball on the governor's road package which the chamber wants.

Now you could argue road funding and minimum wage have nothing to do with each other.  Right.

But in the legislative game logic has no place and so these unrelated issues may be linked and both sides may end up getting nada.

In another twist to this debate GOP  political consultant Tom Shields is telling House GOP members they should probably take the wage deal and "move on."

This, of course, places him at odds with one of his clients Mr. Studley.

Mr. Shields explains, "They (the house GOP) should probably support what the senate passed.  Take it for what it is and vote for it and move on.  That's obviously the best thing to do at this point public opinion-wise."

Which brings us to this.

House Republicans want to fix the roads, but can't do it without Democrats.

Democrats want the minimum wage but without Republicans they won't get it.

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