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National Group Bankrolling $15 Minimum Wage Proposal; Other Petitions

February 9, 2022

One Fair Wage Action, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit set up to help tipped servers get out of scratching an existence based on tips, is the driving force behind the latest effort to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.

Campaign finance reports released Monday showed One Fair Wage Action gave “Raise the Wage Michigan” $1.35 million leading into the 2022 election year. The group’s petition language was approved two weeks ago by the Board of State Canvassers.

The numbers were released as part of Monday’s campaign finance deadline. The Bureau of Elections numbers were compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Public Health Order Restrictions

Unlock MI, an initiative to limit any public health orders to 28 days absent legislative or local approval, has raised just over $773,000 this period. The committee has raised over $1,220,000 this cycle, and has just over $19,000 cash on hand. 

Opposing groups to Unlock MI include Keep MI Safe and Public Health Over Politicians. Keep MI Safe raised approximately $30,000, while Public Health Over Politicians brought in $28,500. 

But Keep MI Safe spending far exceeded its amount raised, with nearly $79,000 spent this period. Public Health Over Politicians spent just over $7,000. However, both groups have around $20,000 cash on hand, keeping them competitive with Unlock MI. Keep MI Safe has just over $19,500, while Public Health Over Politicians has approximately $21,700. 

Election Reform

Secure MI, another Republican-led election reform in response to the 2020 election, brought in $755,000 this period and spent just over $704,000. They disclosed over $65,700 cash on hand. 

The committee’s wish list includes getting rid of affidavits for those without photo ID at the polls and more extensive security checks for absentee voters. 

Opponents of the election reform are Empower MI Vote, Protect MI Vote and Voters Not Politicians. The three committees raised a fraction of the amount the Republican-led initiative brought in this period. 

Protect MI Vote led with $300,000 raised, but spending totaled over $652,000. Empower MI Vote raised just over $51,000 this period, and Voters Not Politicians disclosed $179,300. 

Education

Let MI Kids Learn is a committee calling for tax deductible scholarships to pay for students’ private school expenses. The committee hasn’t raised any money this period, but has over $1,715,000 this election cycle. They reported just over $1,294,400 cash on hand. 

They are opposed by Protecting the Promise of Public Education, a committee that disagrees with the use of public money, including tax credits, for private education. They have raised only $444 this period and haven’t reported additional earnings this election cycle. 

Their debt is upwards of $7,300. 

Payday Lending

Michiganders for Fair Lending is looking to limit payday lending by greatly reducing the maximum interest rate for short-term loans. The committee raised $82,800 this period, and disclosed only $25,000 cash on hand. 

The committee is opposed by Safe Lending MI, who has raised only $25 this period. 

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