Michigan Gov. Snyder to Economic Critics: 'I'm a Very Frugal Guy'

Image: Michigan Gov. Snyder to Economic Critics: 'I'm a Very Frugal Guy'

Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 06:26 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republican Gov. Rick Snyder says he isn't being too pragmatic or a RINO — Republican in name only — he's just doing what's best for his state in securing a minimum-wage deal and other recent efforts to help ailing Detroit and fix roads and bridges.

"I'm a very frugal guy. I'm the token CPA governor in the country, and I'm proud of that," Snyder said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

Michigan's Republican-controlled legislature on May 27 passed a bill raising the state's minimum wage to $9.25 per hour by 2018. Snyder signed the bill into law the same day.

The law ties minimum wage increases to inflation after 2019, with a cap of 3.5 percent per year. Michigan's current minimum wage is $7.40 per hour.

Michigan made the move in an effort to stop a ballot initiative that, if passed by voters, would have raised the state minimum wage to $10.10 per house by 2017 with it being indexed to inflation after that.

The ballot initiative would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 even for tipped workers, Snyder told Cavuto. The current wage for tipped workers is $2.65 per hour and the new law sets it at 38 percent of the rate for other workers.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said at the time that tourism, restaurants and young workers would have been harmed by the ballot proposal.

President Barack Obama has fought unsuccessfully to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, so several Democratic-led states have been pushing for state increases instead.

Snyder said the new rate was the result of bipartisan compromise, and disagreed with Cavuto's assertion that the Chamber of Commerce and state restaurant association were furious over the deal.

Snyder said he talked to the business community and assured them the deal was the best way to resolve the issue without seeing job cuts.

He said there is no direct connection between getting Democrats to sign onto the deal and a tax plan to help repair roads and bridges for $1.5 billion.

His outlook is about restoring Michigan's economy, he said, and that includes the recent vote by the state Senate to approve $195 million to aid the ailing city of Detroit.

"I don't want people to just judge me by what I said," Snyder said. "But did I do what I said I was going to do, and is Michigan better off because we've solved structural fundamental issues?"

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