Chamber Blog

Prevailing Wage Law Repealed & Recreational Marijuana Headed to Nov. Ballot

Local Advocacy: City of Grand Rapids approves budget - Considering medical marijuana.

Thanks to Michigan voters who signed the petition and advocacy by Chamber members, individuals and organizations across the state, the more than 50-year-old state law that artificially mandated wages for public-sector construction jobs was repealed by last week by the Michigan Legislature.

Michigan was one of only six states to require these types of agreements. These anti-competitive mandates created regulatory nightmares and drove up the cost of state government construction.

In recent years, other state like Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin have eliminated such mandates. The action by the Legislature to adopt this citizen-initiated legislation will make Michigan more competitive.

Recreational Marijuana headed to November Ballot – Two More Proposal in the Hopper

Last week Tuesday, June 5, was the deadline for the Michigan Legislature to approve the citizen’s initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The date passed without action. Now, the voters will decide the question in November of whether marijuana should be legalized.

Legislative leaders had  been considering adopting it. If the legislature had done it, the law can be amended by a simple majority vote, making it easier to improve and regulate.  If the voters approve it, it will require a three quarters vote to amend.

The Grand Rapids Chamber opposes the ballot proposal. Click here for further information on the ballot proposal.

In other petition news, organizers of ballot proposals to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour and mandate paid sick leave submitted signatures for review. The signatures need be verified first by the Michigan Bureau of Elections.

The Grand Rapids Chamber is opposed to both ballot proposals.  Both proposals would make Michigan less competitive. The minimum wage proposal would result in our state having one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country and the paid sick leave mandate would be the strictest in the country.

As these are citizen initiatives the Legislature will have 40 days to adopt the proposal or send it to the voters.

Questions? Contact Andy Johnston at or 616.771.0335.

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