The Michigan Association of Timbermen
Posted on 07.14.2017 Under Legislative

Legislative Report for MAT

Judy Augenstein, Legislative Consultant

July 12 – This week

House Speaker Tom Leonard and other House leaders have been meeting with Governor Rick Snyder this week on legislation to set up a new tax incentive to attract large businesses creating new jobs in the state. Speaker Leonard shut down session the last day of the June session once he learned the Governor had been meeting with House Democrats relative a side deal for votes on the “Good Jobs” package that could jeopardize House Republican priorities. Sources said at the time that Governor Snyder told Democrats he would not sign any “labor relations” bills if they made it to his desk. This week was the first time the Speaker and the Governor have met since the “dust up” causing Speaker Leonard to shut down session.

SB 242, 243 & 244 were on the House calendar today and was passed with 39 GOP votes, excluding the Speaker of the House and other leadership members, 32 Democratic members voted yes for a total of 71 “yeas” and 35 “nays”. The package would create the Good Jobs for Michigan Program within the Michigan Strategic Fund through 2019. Under the program, authorized businesses would be able to capture state income taxes withheld from certified new employees in varying amounts depending on wages and the amount of jobs created. The Senate was in and out of session today waiting for the package to be passed by the House. The Senate concurred in the House amendments and sent the measure to Governor Snyder for his signature.

Americans for Prosperity-Michigan used the unexpected adjournment of the House last month without voting on the “Good Jobs” incentive package to send out mailers linking the bills to former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s policies that the group and most Republicans view unfavorably. The group sent out mailers in multiple districts, confirmed former Rep. Pete Lund, AFP-Michigan’s director. The mailer urges constituents to call them and to tell them to vote no on SB 242, 243 & 244.

The mailer says when Granholm was governor, she gave away “billions in tax favors to politically connected companies” and then unemployment went up to 15 percent. At the center of the package is Foxconn, a manufacturing firm that develops liquid crystal displays and is looking to open a plant in the U.S. and could create 5,000 jobs in the state.

Specific to forestry—HB 4464, legislation sponsored by Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona passed the House today and referred to the Senate where it will be sent to the Senate Transportation Committee for further review. The bill allows a trucker to obtain an annual multiple trip permit for a power unit without requiring a separate permit for each individual piece of equipment carried by that power unit.

This week John Fowler and I met with staff to Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville and other interests to fine tune legislation to level the playing field for wood manufacturers (Amish/religious sects). We finally have a “final” draft #5 which meets with the approval of LARA, the bill drafter, Michigan Manufacturers Association, the State chamber and other trade associations. I did a followup meeting with another House member today who has committed to sponsor the bill and handed off the language to him for his review. Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet has finalized a bill draft to require all employers (Amish) to post MIOSHA signage or be heavily fined. We plan to round up co-sponsors in August for the Rep. Dianda bill and the bill to level the playing field for wood manufacturing businesses.

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The Michigan Association of Timbermen are looking forward to another eventful and educational Annual Meeting. Please join us at Boyne Mountain Lodge on April 26th and 27th, 2018!

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