Democrats Hail Michigan for Minimum Wage Hike

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - The Democrat Party is praising Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for signing a bill that increases the state's minimum wage. The governor "stood up for working families throughout Michigan," the Democrat National Committee said.

The legislation Granholm signed on Tuesday will raise the state minimum wage to $6.95 an hour on October 1; to $7.15 an hour in July 2007; and to $7.40 in July 2008.

Democrats complain that the federal minimum wage has been "stuck" at $5.15 an hour for nine years.

"Michigan, you are getting a raise and it's about time," Granholm said at the bill-signing ceremony.

In a press release, the Democratic National Committee gave credit for the minimum wage hike only to the Democratic governor and Democrats in the Michigan Legislature.

"Governor Granholm today took a bold step for Michigan's working families," said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.

"By increasing the minimum wage, Governor Granholm is bringing much needed relief to thousands of working families who are struggling to pay soaring gas prices, home heating bills, and health care costs. Governor Granholm's leadership stands in sharp contrast to Republicans in Washington, who have consistently blocked Democratic efforts to increase the federal minimum wage."

The DNC called Granholm an "excellent example of the strong Democratic leaders across America who are fighting to protect America's working families."

But the Detroit News noted that it was the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature that passed the minimum wage bill. Republicans reportedly wanted to stop a petition drive to put a constitutional amendment boosting the minimum wage on the November ballot.

The higher minimum wage will make it more expensive for companies to do business in Michigan, and that's why many business groups opposed the bill.

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