Minimum wage and trust issues Updated: Thursday, June 5, 2014 KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - There were congratulations all around last week when the Michigan Senate, in an astonishing display of speed and bi-partisanship, passed a new minimum wage law.Under the law, the minimum wage in Michigan will rise from the $7.40 it is now to $9.25 over the next four years.Tonight in Tom’s Corner, Tom Van Howe says--all the celebrating aside--as the old saying goes, there are two things you really don’t want to see being made: sausage and legislation.=====================Excuse me for not joining the victory dance.Its not so much that I don’t trust lawmakers--and I don’t.It’s because I know this law is another example of how our lawmakers don’t trust you and me.Most of you know what happened. But let me briefly explain anyway:Our people in Washington were talking about a minimum wage hike--but with a million lobbyists saying it was better to keep people in poverty, that effort landed with a thud.So, in Michigan, a grassroots petition drive began to amend the law to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.There were some problems with it. Waiters and waitresses were included and that would have been a problem with our system of tipping for service.But, nonetheless, it largely echoed what 70 percent of us thought anyway: it was time for a wage hike.The petitions were signed by 320,000 people, and it seemed certain that the question would make it’s way to the November ballot where passage would be virtually assured.But our Republican lawmakers were bothered by this. Not only would the law enrage some business owners and some wealthy backers, having an issue on the ballot that might rally Democratic voters just can’t be a good idea.Its messy. Things might get out of hand.So up jumps Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville--Republicans have a majority in both houses so it ought not be necessary to point out Richardville is a Republican--with an idea.No sense in risking anything with another pesky voter-driven effort; let's repeal the minimum wage law and replace it with a new one that falls short of what the voters might approve of. That way the petition, which seeks to amend the wage law, would be irrelevant, null and void, as cold and tasteless as a week old cup of coffee. You can’t amend a law that has been repealed.And you know how long it took to get all that done? And did I mention that Democrats joined in, to make the repeal and replacement a bipartisan effort?It took one day. I mean, there had to have been some groundwork that took a few hours, but when push came to shove--one day!Remarkable what can be accomplished when you don’t trust voters and have to move fast.Now the petition people are upset and say they may take their case to court...and I hope they do.We’ll have to wait and see.Republicans, meantime, are claiming victory. So are Democrats. So is the Governor who signed it into law almost immediately.And that’s all fine. The only people left out in the cold are the people who pushed the envelope with a petition drive in the first place.They get part of what they wanted, but their victory is about as exciting as twin beds.Politicians here, there, and everywhere urge us to trust them. And then spend millions, even billions of dollars to convince us to vote for them.It can only mean they don’t trust us, left to our own devices, to do the right thing.In this corner...I’m Tom Van Howe.