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Monday, January 17, 2011

Michigan's Dems leadership offer state job creation initiatives, GOP want taxes, social safety net cuts

Michigan's State Capitol in LansingImage via Wikipedia
Michigan's State Capitol
building in Lansing, Michigan
As Michigan’s Congressional leaders head back to the capital building in Lansing with a new Governor Rick Snyder (R) and Republican control of the House and Senate, the state faces a double digit 12.4 percent unemployment rate. 

House Democratic Leader Richard Hammel (D-Morris Township) announced on January 13th that he wants quick bi-partisan action on three initiatives that could put tens of thousands of jobs back into the state within the next year.
"People in Michigan need jobs, and they need them now," Hammel noted on the Michigan House Democrats site.
"House Democrats have been working for years on concrete plans to create jobs. As we start the new legislative session, we hope that it truly is a 'new day' in Lansing and that legislative leaders and the new administration will work with us on these solutions so we can get people back on the job right away.”
The three initiatives are Hire Michigan First Plan, Building of the Detroit River International Crossing and Building New Clean Coal Plants in the state.

  • The Hire Michigan First plan would be enacted to ensure that state economic development incentives and contracts are used to hire Michigan workers, not illegal immigrants or those from other states. House Democrats passed this plan multiple times, but key provisions were blocked by the Republican Senate in during former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration.

  • Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) is an initiative to build an additional bridge crossing to Canada. The plan currently supported by business, labor and government groups across Michigan and Canada – will create 40,000 Michigan jobs, including 10,000 immediate construction jobs. House Democrats in the former Granholm administration passed the initial legislation last year, but the Republican Senate did not vote on the measure before the end of the Congressional session.

  • Building Clean Coal Plants in the state is projected to create up to 5,000 jobs and help attract new employers to the state. An approval process to build a new coal plant was established through energy reforms championed by House Democrats in 2008. Former Governor Granholm's administration added a layer of regulation that has, to date, blocked the building of two plants.

  • State Democratic ideas seem to not be in line with the ideas proposed by Speaker of the Michigan House Jase Bolger (R-Marshall). On January 14th, Speaker Bolger announced "guiding principles" focused on trimming government operations and spending, reconfiguring the tax structure and reforming business regulations to the Detroit News.

    Bolger stated that repealing and replacing the Michigan Business Tax and surcharge is a Republican priority. The caucus will first debate all tax reform ideas, including Governor Rick Snyder's proposed 6 percent corporate tax.

    Other measures proposed by the Republican leadership include cuts to social safety net programs by enacting a 48-month limit on welfare for able-bodied adults and eliminating the earned income tax credit for the working poor. It is expected that both of these ideas will be opposed by state Democrats.

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