LANSING – State House Democrats said today that job creation needs to be a top priority in order for Michigan to move forward. Since February, less than 5 percent of the legislation passed by the Republican-led House will have any impact on job creation. While Michigan’s hard-working families continue to struggle during these challenging economic times, Republican lawmakers have followed their Governor’s lead and focused their efforts on protecting benefits for big business while failing to pass a substantial plan to provide job opportunities for Michigan residents. Instead, the Republican leadership has endangered future job creation by cutting education spending, slashing workers’ benefits, and gutting protections for injured workers.

“If anything below 60 percent is a failing grade, then we are clearly not where we need to be when it comes to job creation,” said House Democratic Leader Richard Hammel (D- Mt. Morris Twp.). “It is very concerning that the leadership in Lansing continues to make the bottom line for corporations more of a priority than enacting legislation that will create jobs and help get Michigan’s economy back on track. It is critical to review all of our options to help ease Michigan’s financial challenges, but the changes that we have seen implemented by the majority leadership in Lansing are taking our state in the wrong direction.”

House Democrats have continued to lead efforts that offer targeted incentives to emerging industries in order to spur economic growth and create jobs in Michigan. Recently, House Democratic legislators held press conferences across the state announcing their “Invest in Michigan: Small Business Jobs” package of legislation to strengthen small businesses, spur entrepreneurship and reward businesses that hire unemployed Michiganders. Republican legislators, however, have failed to create jobs and instead have slashed education funding, dismantled safety nets for struggling Michigan families and shifted the tax burden on those who can least afford it, all without the guarantee of a single new job. This type of environment puts the future of Michigan’s recovery at risk. Since early February of this year 386 new House and Senate Bills have been voted on that do nothing to create jobs.

“Under the current leadership, Michigan’s unemployment rate is still hovering at the 10 percent mark,” said Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek). “Clearly the majority party still does not have us on the right path when it comes to job creation. My Democratic colleagues and I are committed to standing up for the people of this state. We have a skilled workforce that is ready to get back to work and we need to be focusing on legislation that will actually help businesses create good jobs for Michigan workers.”