Dillon Demands Action to Create Jobs, Will Fight for Hire Michigan First

Lawmaker calls for bipartisan cooperation to use taxpayer dollars to support workers
Monday, January 31, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS – Calling for state leaders to back up their bipartisan talk with action, State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) today announced that he will introduce 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.

“Michigan should not be awarding economic development incentives to companies that will turn around and give these jobs to workers from other states and countries,” Dillon said. “Michigan workers must always come first and we must use every tool we have to put them back on the job. The Hire Michigan First plan does that.”

The Michigan House of Representatives 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 undocumented workers 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 on 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.

“By cracking down on companies that hire undocumented workers, we’re also protecting small businesses that play by the rules,” Dillon said. “Companies that hire undocumented workers and save money on things like wages and benefits have an unfair advantage over businesses that do the right thing and hire Michigan workers – we cannot allow that to continue.”