The current push for increasing minimum wages really began back in 2012, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing much at all. But first, let’s look at the exception that proves the rule. With democrat Gretchen Whitmer poised to take over as Michigan Governor from republican incumbent Rick Snyder, the republican state senate voted Wednesday to roll back a minimum wage increase and paid leave mandate. The increase, to $12/hour by 2022, was adopted and signed into law in September, thereby negating a wage and sick leave ballot question before the voters. Now, post-election, the senate has spread the increase to $12/hour over an additional 8 years (by 2030) and exempted companies with 50 or fewer employees form the paid leave mandate. The bill was sent the bill to the house for concurrence. The states of Texas and New Jersey (2 states not often mentioned in the same context) will both be entertaining minimum wage increases in the next legislative session with one sure to pass and the other, not so much! With New Jersey government now completely controlled by democrats, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced his support last week for passing a $15/hour minimum wage within the first month of the 2019 session. Negotiations are now ongoing to determine whether to include a tip credit and/or youth training wage, but with or without, a new minimum will pass in New Jersey. Less likely to pass, Texas Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to raise the state minimum from $7.85/hour to $10.10/hour in addition to legislation mandating pay equity. The bills will face challenging times clearing the republican-controlled legislature. At the federal level, US Senator Bernie Sanders is taking a different route to a $15/hour federal minimum wage. The Vermont socialist introduced legislation, which he named the “Stop Walmart Act”. The proposal would ban large companies from buying back their own stock unless they pay all employees a minimum $15/hour, provide all workers with 7 days paid sick leave and cap executive compensation at 150 times median employee pay!