News Story

Democrats Advocate Good-Paying Jobs, Except For Elected Democrats’ Staff

The Michigan Democratic Senate caucus is posting below-minimum wage pay rates

Members of the Michigan Senate Democratic caucus state on their website that they fight for everyone to have a shot at a good-paying job. But a posting on for a job with the caucus appears to offer below-minimum wage compensation.

The listing for a full-time legislative assistant for an unnamed Senate Democrat lists a starting salary between $20,000 and $40,000. The position comes with numerous responsibilities, including answering phones, scheduling meetings, performing constituent services, attending committee meetings, and being at community and constituency events. The job notice says that salary is commensurate with experience.

The minimum wage in Michigan is $9.87 per hour. Someone who works 40 hours per week at the low end of the pay scale for the legislative job will earn $9.62 per hour, which is below minimum wage. The Senate Democrats website says:

“Every Michigan worker deserves a chance at a good-paying job – one where they can provide for their family and plan for the future.”

“Our caucus will fight to reverse cuts to the minimum wage, protect hard-earned retirement benefits, support workers’ rights, and ensure small businesses have the infrastructure and workforce they need to thrive.

“That’s because we know Michigan workers, families and small businesses deserve better.”

Each senator receives an office allotment to pay for employees and office expenses, with senators in official leadership positions getting more. The lowest paid full-time legislative assistant in the Senate a few years ago made $35,360, based on a 40-hour work week, according to an MLive article.

The Senate Business Office was asked in an email for the average salary of legislative assistants as well as the average office allotment each senator receives. As of the time of publication, it has not responded.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.