State Rep. Jerry Neyer today said plans Democrats are slated to push for in the coming months will increase costs for consumers, small business owners and families.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Democrat leaders went through several initiatives on Wednesday that ramp up regulation and don’t address problems and priorities many people across the state feel are more prudent.
“I didn’t hear anything from the governor that’s going to make life more affordable for people,” said Neyer, of Shepherd. “This announcement comes in the middle of massive inflation, a planned Democrat income tax hike next year and the most expensive budget in state history. Where does this tax and spend movement end? It’s not a practical or sustainable way forward for our state. It won’t work to grow Michigan or bring jobs here, and ultimately it is going to chase away workers and small business owners.”
Among the proposals Neyer took issue with were:
Green energy mandates and timelines. Whitmer spoke in her address on the need to move to carbon-free electricity production on a tight timeline. Proposals in the Legislature will mandate a carbon-free standard in Michigan by 2035. Neyer expressed concern that these plans will ultimately increase basic electric prices for mid-Michigan families who already pay too much for a grid that isn’t reliable, while not taking into account if the state’s infrastructure will be able to meet such a timeline.
Removing local control. The carbon-free standard works hand-in-hand with potential legislation from Democrats that would shift the power to permit major solar projects from municipalities to state government – a move Neyer said disregards local voices, diminish the roles of local elected officials and set dangerous precedent.
A push for unsustainable paid leave plans. Whitmer encouraged a need for more paid leave for employees without offering specifics. Bills currently in the Legislature would require private workers and employers in Michigan to fund a new program which offers up to 15 weeks of paid leave every year. The program, patterned after Michigan’s broken, fraud-riddled unemployment system, would be paid for by a new tax composed partly of money taken directly from workers’ paychecks. The policy would also cost small businesses, who serve as the backbone of Michigan’s local and state economies, millions of dollars. This would result in lower wages for workers or higher prices for consumers to offset costs.
“These are plans hard-working people I talk with can’t afford,” Neyer said. “Many are already struggling to keep up with rising costs, and state government keeps offloading more of their spending onto them by taking more of what people earn.”
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PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Jerry Neyer (second from left), of Shepherd, welcomed Gratiot-Isabella Regional Education Service District Superintendent Paul Hungerford (second from right) as his guest for the 2024 State of the State Address on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the state Capitol building in Lansing. Neyer’s House District covers portions of Gratiot and Isabella counties. […]