It seems the closer the midterm elections get, the more “business-friendly” some elected officials become. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a prime and recent example. It seems Governor Whitmer, who has long been a proponent of increasing minimum wages in the Wolverine State, is now urging caution over reinstating a $12 minimum wage. The Michigan legislature employed an “adopt and amend” strategy back in 2018 that effectively negated a ballot question put before the voters. Employee advocates sued and back in July of this year, a Michigan Court of Claims voided that strategy as in violation of the state constitution and allowed the original initiative to take effect. The current $9.87 per hour minimum is slated to go to $10.10 in January but would then jump to $12 an hour on February 21 and subsequently rise with inflation, while the current tipped wage of $3.75 per hour would jump to $9.60 and match the state minimum in 2024 – an increase of over 200%. In addition, under the ballot initiative resurrected by the court, paid leave obligations of employers would increase along with the minimum wage from 40 hours annually to 72 hours! As polls between Governor Whitmer and republican challenger Tudor Dixon have gotten closer (average of the top 5 polls now has her lead at less than 4 percentage points), the Governor is “finding religion”, as they say, and expressing her concern for the health of small business. Timing is everything!