Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bierlein spearheading legislation to deliver a more vibrant Michigan economy
RELEASE|April 17, 2024

Plans work to increase wages, lower taxes, and deliver accountable spending

State Rep. Matthew Bierlein today joined other House Republicans to unveil new proposals that will spur economic development in the state, while helping people have more job opportunities and money in their pockets.

A press conference discussing the new plans comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Growing Michigan Together Council in December determined that Michigan needs a “bold, coordinated economic grown plan,” and the governor hasn’t developed one in her five years in office. House Republicans laid out multiple crucial proposals that should form elements of the state’s growth plan, including reducing the income tax for Michiganders and small businesses, cutting red tape to make a fairer and more streamlined regulatory environment, and increasing accountability over taxpayer-funded economic development projects.

“For the past few years, our state has been going down the wrong track as it competes for jobs and residents. There’s been no real coordinated strategy,” said Bierlein, of Vassar, when addressing the new plans this morning. “We’re subsidizing massive gambles on technology that reflect agendas over market demands. It’s unsustainable and nonsensical. We need comprehensive, accountable plans that get to work right now on delivering economic success that people will see and feel.”

Bierlein’s legislation will restore Michigan as a right-to-work state. For more than a decade, Michigan’s right-to-work law guaranteed workers the right to choose whether to pay dues to a union, and many job providers look for right-to-work states when moving or expanding. The state’s right-to-work law was repealed by Democrats last year.

“This law ensured that individuals had the freedom to work without being compelled to join a union and had been a cornerstone of our state’s economic policies and progress,” Bierlein said. “It made us a versatile option for workers and let people keep more of what they earned. Repealing it undermined the principles of individual liberty and choice in the workplace. With this plan, we’re going to increase wages so our state is more affordable and desirable for both current and future generations. This is a fix that’s sorely needed.”

Other elements of the strategy announced by Bierlein and House Republicans include:

  • Respecting tax dollars in economic development programs: Michigan taxpayers should have their dollars spent responsibly, so the state’s economic development programs need more accountability to ensure taxpayers are getting a worthwhile return on investment. Michigan should audit payouts, reclaim funds when deals don’t deliver on their promises, increase transparency about paused projects, and require votes by all the people’s representatives on large-scale projects funded through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund. The state should also prioritize funds for small- and medium-sized businesses and coordinate permitting between the state and local governments to expedite projects.
  • Cutting red tape and making it easier to put people to work: Burdensome regulations and confusing bureaucracy impede workers and employers who are trying to succeed in Michigan. State government should streamline bureaucracy with a single, user-friendly portal where businesses and workers can deal with state agencies. The state should review and reevaluate regulations, paperwork, and licensing to determine what works and what only gets in the way of economic productivity and growth. Michigan should also restore policies that prevent bureaucrats from imposing stricter rules than the federal government or ignoring the input of experts and employers.
  • Measuring performance of state workforce programs: Taxpayers shouldn’t fund programs that don’t work, so Michigan should measure the performance of workforce programs to see whether they are successfully helping people develop skills or obtain good-paying jobs.
  • Increasing paychecks for hardworking families: Thanks to Republicans, Michigan’s income tax rate decreased last year from 4.25% to 4.05%, and Michiganders and small businesses are receiving larger returns this spring as a result. However, legal maneuvering by the Whitmer administration and Attorney General Dana Nessel resulted in a tax hike. Michigan should restore the income tax cut so Michiganders can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks in the years ahead.

The legislation will soon be formally introduced and read into the record.

PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Matthew Bierlein speaks on new economic development plans at a press conference on Wednesday, April 17 in Lansing.

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