Michigan legislature approves minimum wage, sick time initiatives

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate has adopted ballot initiatives that would increase the state's minimum wage and require paid sick leave.

The Michigan House also voted to approve both items later the day, meaning they will become law and not be placed on the Michigan ballot in November.

The strategy makes it easier for lawmakers to change the proposals in the postelection "lame-duck" session with simple majority votes. A group backing the minimum wage drive says the maneuver would be unconstitutional.

For now, legislators have voted to gradually boost the minimum wage to $12 and mandate that employers provide earned sick leave to employees.

Business groups are lobbying Republicans to act because if voters approved the initiatives, any future changes would require three-fourths votes in both the House and Senate.