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Petition campaign begins in Kalamazoo to raise the minimum wage


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Just days after the State Board of Canvassers approved their petition language, dozens of people hit the streets in Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Detroit this weekend to begin gathering signatures.

Their goal is to gradually increase the minimum wage in Michigan from $7.40/hour to $10.10/hour with a voter referendum.

Training sessions were held in all three cities on Saturday on how to properly fill out the petitions and gather signatures.

Meredith Loomis Quinlan with Michigan United says they need 258-thousand valid signatures, but plan to collect over 300-thousand just to make sure they have enough to qualify for the November ballot.

The group originally intended to raise the minimum to $9.50/hour, but were persuaded to increase it by poll numbers that show public support for a hike in the minimum wage, and President Obama’s executive order raising the minimum on new federal contracts to $10.10/hour.

Business groups are already coming out against the proposal, saying it will result in layoffs or higher prices, or both.