LANSING — During yesterday’s hearing in the House Tax Policy Committee on the “Good Jobs for Michigan” bill package, state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) questioned the priorities of the Michigan Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder. Specifically, he asked about concurrent plans to attack teacher retirement and give a significant tax break to big corporations, which received hearings only hours apart.

Video of the exchange is available here, and a transcript is included below. To watch the full hearing, click here

Rep. Hammoud: I agree with wanting good jobs in Michigan, and that good jobs need good talent, and that Michigan is one of the best states with talent. Hopefully, we work our way in trying to retain that talent. I would be remiss though if I didn’t mention why we have great talent; and that’s because of great universities, schools and, most importantly, great educators. And my biggest struggle with this package is that I find it too much of a coincidence that in the same day that we’re taking on a bill package about teachers retirement and pensions, we’re also discussing a package about tax incentives for big businesses. And for individuals or administrations to be willing to make a tradeoff between teacher pensions and tax incentives for big business, that I have grave concerns with and cannot support. And so I would ask you: would you be willing to prioritize business incentives over teacher’s pensions, where many teachers would actually make less than the average regional pay within this bill package?


Individual testifying in support of Good Jobs: I’m certainly not qualified to answer that, representative.