Public employee pay freeze fails despite public support

LANSING—A resolution that would freeze a three percent pay rate increase for unionized state employees, and save taxpayers $77.3 million, failed to reach enough votes for passage in the Senate on Wednesday. This was the second attempt by lawmakers to approve the measure.

State Sen. Mike Nofs worries not passing Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 threatens Michigan jobs.

"Our state has the worst unemployment rate in the nation. We have a state budget that is more than a billion dollars in the red. At a time when we are working to preserve every job and save every dollar, it is reasonable and necessary to reduce government spending, and this is no exception," said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. "I understand that money is tight, and knowing that made this a hard vote. But by passing this resolution to freeze the pay increase, we would also likely keep residents who have a job in a job. And that, as I said previously, is better than the possible alternative."

A recent poll conducted by the Business Leaders of Michigan indicates 75 percent of voters support freezing the 3 percent pay raise of unionized state employees. Non-union employees working for the state have already seen the same raise rescinded.