Detroit House Democrats Demand Action to Create Jobs, Fight for Hire Michigan First

Legislators call for bipartisan cooperation to use taxpayer dollars to support workers
Monday, January 31, 2011

DETROIT – Calling for state leaders to back up their bipartisan talk with action, Detroit House Democrats today announced their plans to reintroduce the Hire Michigan First plan, an aggressive job-creation package that will put Michigan workers back on the job now by making sure they are first in line for the jobs their tax dollars create. The Hire Michigan First plan supports working families by rewarding companies that employ Michigan workers and cracks down on those that hire undocumented workers.

“Residents and families across Detroit have lost their jobs, homes and health benefits during these tough economic times, and they need strong leadership from Lansing now more than ever,” said State Representative Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (D-Detroit), a sponsor of the plan. “The quickest way to turn things around for our city and our state is to get our residents working again. At the end of the day what counts is having jobs so people can work. Hire Michigan First will help ensure that our residents are the ones who get hired when their tax dollars create jobs.”

House Democrats passed the Hire Michigan First plan multiple times in past legislative sessions, but key provisions were gutted by the Republican-controlled Senate.

The Hire Michigan First plan helps make sure that state economic development incentives and contracts are used to hire Michigan workers, not illegal immigrants or workers from other states. Michigan will spend nearly $3 billion this year on tax incentives for businesses, but there is currently no way for the state to determine how many jobs they create or if those jobs are going to Michigan workers.

The plan to be introduced Tuesday:

• Gives companies that hire Michigan workers priority in the awarding of state tax incentives and other economic development tools.

• Creates transparency and accountability by requiring companies that accept incentives to report on who they hire to ensure that Michigan residents are put first.

• Cracks down on companies that hire undocumented workers by creating penalties that can include requiring them to pay back their tax incentives and barring them from future state contracts.