LANSING – Michigan Democratic lawmakers today blasted the failure of the Republican majority to approve measures that would help create immediate jobs. They pointed out that instead of focusing on job creation, Republicans in Lansing have concentrated on efforts to shift the tax burden from corporations onto families and seniors, pay for it by cutting schools and public safety, and to weaken the rights of workers and local communities to decide how they negotiate wages.
“Addressing job creation and the state’s economy must be our top priority,” said Rep. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak). “Unfortunately, after 90 days of Republican leadership we have not seen a single piece of legislation designed to put people back to work. While the Governor has been promoting his message of “shared sacrifice,” everything he and Republicans in the legislature have put forward requires the working men and women of Michigan to do all the sacrificing.”
Democrats noted that while in his January State of the State address Governor Snyder called for action on a new international bridge crossing that is expected to create nearly 10,000 jobs right away, Republicans controlling the Legislature have failed to hold a single vote on the issue. They also highlighted inaction on a plan to make sure Michigan workers have the first crack at projects supported by Michigan tax dollars, and a recent vote that would actually reduce the amount of unemployment insurance available to Michigan workers who lose their job. In fact, a Detroit Free Press article yesterday quoted Governor Snyder as saying, “Next year, my main issue is, let’s start the job creation process.”
“The Governor and Republican leaders in the Legislature have had every opportunity to do what they said they would do and work to create jobs,” said Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills). “Instead of supporting common-sense proposals such as the ‘Hire Michigan First’ package, they’ve pursued policies which not only fail to create a single job, but actually constitute an attack on working families and local communities.”
Democrats also highlighted the fact that Republicans have found time to approve bills renaming several Michigan highways and introduce a number of bills to create specialty license plates (“Lawmakers find time to ponder license plates,” Capital News Service, March 3, 2011). They note that job creation estimates for these efforts are approximately zero.
“While Republicans are saying one thing and doing another, people in Michigan are waiting for jobs,” said Rep. Jeff Irwin (D – Ann Arbor). “The majority has already wasted three months trying to make it harder for people to survive this economic downturn, we can’t afford to waste any more time when we know there is more we can do to put people back on the job.”