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Michigan lawmakers approve minimum-wage increase to $9.25 per hour

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(Reuters) – Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday voted to raise the minimum wage to $9.25 per hour by 2018, joining other U.S. states and municipalities that have considered increases in the minimum wage this year.

The increase in the minimum wage was approved by bipartisan votes in both chambers of the Republican-controlled Legislature. The House vote was 76 to 34, while the Senate vote was 24 to 12.

The bill was expected to be signed later on Tuesday by Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

“This is something that is good for Michigan,” Snyder told a news conference. “It’s good for the hard-working people of Michigan and I believe economically sound.”

The bill ties the state’s minimum wage to the rate of inflation starting in 2019, capped at 3.5 percent per year. The legislation sets the minimum wage for workers earning tips such as waiters at 38 percent of the minimum wage for non-tipped workers.

Michigan’s current minimum wage is $7.40 per hour for non-tipped workers and $2.65 per hour for tipped workers.

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Minimum-wage increases have been considered in 38 states this year in a national push by Democrats. Minnesota was among the states to approve an increase in the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour for large businesses by August 2016.

President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25, but did not win the backing of the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives.

In Michigan, the approval of the minimum-wage hike came a day before a deadline for a group to turn in signatures to put a ballot proposal before voters to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017 and index wage increases to inflation.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said he had concerns about the ballot proposal.

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“Restaurants, tourism, young people would have suffered,” he said. “I don’t think it was the intent of those who drew up the ballot proposal, but it had some serious problems in it.”

By tying the increase in the minimum wage to an index, the debate can be taken off the table for a long time, he added.

“Michigan families are working harder than ever, and they deserve a raise,” said Representative Tim Greimel, the House Democratic leader.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Karen Pierog and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Jan Paschal)

[Image: ‘Human hands exchanging money, via Shutterstock]

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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race

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Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721257353076737

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721448168710151

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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits

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President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’

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Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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