Michigan House Republicans
A Plan for Higher Incomes and Better Jobs
RELEASE|May 15, 2024

Why does Michigan need a new direction? 

Michigan has spent billions of our tax dollars to bring in big, out of state corporations, but all too often they don’t live up to their promises and they pay below average wages. Meanwhile, our economy isn’t growing like it should and people are still leaving looking for new opportunities. It is time for a new direction. 

The governor’s own blue-ribbon panel of experts on population loss reported late last year that Michigan does not have a cohesive statewide plan for growth, and that the lack of a plan is holding us back. House Republicans are stepping up to offer a plan that can turn things around. 

We need an economic growth plan that helps local businesses thrive, increases our take home pay, and makes this state a more attractive place to live and work. We need a plan that gives taxpayers value for their investment and delivers tangible results that benefit our local communities. We need a plan that makes Michigan a place that grows and prospers. 

The House Republican economic growth plan is a real strategy to accelerate Michigan’s growth and provide everyone with opportunity. We believe this is the better way forward.

Five key ideas to help Michigan grow again

  • Reversing the 2024 income tax hike and letting everyone in Michigan keep more of their hard-earned dollars. It lowered everyone’s pay on Jan. 1, and it shrunk the earnings of every single small business in the state. Reversing it will give everyone a boost and make it easier to live a good life here in Michigan.  
  • Removing the oldest and most outdated rules and regulations that are no longer needed. Hundreds of old rules are still on the books that haven’t been touched in decades, and many of the newer rules have been controversial. It is well past time to bring them in line and keep them reasonable.
  • Measuring the value of Michigan’s workforce training programs to find out what’s working and what’s not. It sounds simple, but there are several duplicate programs and not enough coordination between them. That means big headaches for small businesses looking to hire and workers looking for new careers. No one should be stuck in a program that doesn’t work. 
  • Making economic development programs more accountable and transparent to ensure we’re getting value for our tax dollars. Big corporations are getting billions of our tax dollars with too little oversight and no way to hold them responsible for their broken promises. Bad deals and blank checks are always a terrible combination.
  • Restoring Right to Work, the popular law that let everyone accept any job without being forced to pay union dues out of their paychecks. We believe repealing that law was a mistake, and it turned off many new businesses that wanted to come to Michigan. Bringing it back is as good as putting an even bigger ‘now hiring’ sign on the state line. 

How the House Republican plan will get it done 

Increasing the size of your paycheck by reversing the 2024 income tax hike.

  • Politicians raised the income tax for every person in the state starting Jan. 1, 2024. That income tax hike helped balance the budget after our $9 billion surplus was spent on special projects and our state budget grew by billions of dollars. It didn’t have to happen if Michigan had better priorities. Our plan eliminates the 2024 income tax hike, which will increase the size of everyone’s paycheck and help small businesses keep more of their income.
  • The Legislature held the line to stop the income tax hike, but the governor and attorney general used a legal maneuver to get it done anyway. We don’t believe that was fair to the people, and we do not support it. Our plan closes that loophole for good. 

Bulldozing roadblocks to new jobs and making it easier to put people to work.

  • Michigan’s state government has now grown to the largest size it has ever been with new departments and agencies popping up every year. Small business owners don’t know where to go to find answers or file papers to hire hard-working Michiganders or expand their business. This plan gives hard-working small businesses a one-stop shop for all the paperwork, legal filings, and regulations they need to follow every day. 
  • State economic development agencies are not bringing in nearly enough high-paying careers, and they are not holding the big corporations who received taxpayer dollars to their promises. Despite that, nothing has changed. We want to give state agencies stronger financial incentives in the budget to get things done, protect the taxpayers and get people back to work. 
  • State regulations have become overly political, and the standards for local businesses change every four years. That’s not how it should be. Rules and regulations should be based solely on science and common sense. Our plan promotes that standard so state bureaucrats look more often for ways to say yes instead of ways to say no.  
  • Politicians and bureaucrats pass a lot of new rules and regulations every year. We want to make sure they’re the right ones. Eliminating unnecessary laws that duplicate or ‘one-up’ federal laws already in place will keep us focused and targeted on what needs to be done. 
  • Michigan’s compiled laws literally fill libraries in and around the state Capitol. There are centuries of old rules and regulations that no longer apply but could be used to penalize small businesses if and when someone dusts them off. Our plan finally goes through these old rules to make sure they’re still needed. 

Measuring the performance of state programs to prioritize the best and replace the worst.

  • Someone who is hunting for a good career and a Michigan business looking for a new employee each have multiple agencies to file with and search through, and because of that the two might never meet. Michigan’s system needs to be clearer and simpler to work with. Our plan creates the first real review of state job programs to find what works and what doesn’t and how to get them all on the same page. 
  • Some of those job programs have worse performance than others, but nobody has ever put together a comprehensive look at which works best. Our plan measures their performance and identifies the lowest-performing programs so that nobody ends up in a dead end. 
  • Measuring performance will also help Michigan prioritize the best performing job programs so small businesses can stay fully staffed and workers can find the high-paying career they need. 

Bringing real accountability and transparency to the state’s multi-billion-dollar business deals for economic development.

  • Big corporations have received billions of taxpayer dollars trying to stem the tide of population loss. Those decisions are largely made by anonymous bureaucrats and often don’t even require the approval of the state Legislature. The House Republican plan makes these massive funds accountable to the taxpayers for the first time and gives the people a much larger say over their economic future. 
  • There are no independent audits of current economic development spending. Our plan creates an automatic annual audit by the state’s independent Auditor General, so we know which deals are working and which are not. 
  • We believe Michigan taxpayers have been burned multiple times by companies not holding up their end of economic development deals and facing zero consequences. Companies have repeatedly accepted hundreds of millions of dollars and then laid off Michigan workers or scaled back their promises for new jobs. Our plan claws back unused funding from paused or canceled contracts and companies that cut jobs, and it gives the people’s representatives in the Legislature a bigger say in how those funds are given back out if they are reused. 
  • Billions of dollars have been given away with the approval of just two committees. Current Democrat proposals give future deals even less accountability by automatically earmarking a half billion dollars every year without requiring a full vote in both chambers. Our plan gives the people a say over this funding by requiring the approval of the entire state Legislature for every project. 
  • Taxpayer support has been given to out-of-state businesses while Michigan businesses struggle to make ends meet. Our plan focuses state funds on helping local businesses and small businesses grow by capping how much of the funding in any year can go to out of state companies and how much can be given to big corporations. Main Street businesses in Michigan need help, too, and our plan will give them the seat at the table they deserve. 
  • Under the governor’s proposal, companies can double dip from multiple assistance programs. Under our plan, companies that receive grants under one economic incentive program cannot receive grants under another. 
  • The point of state assistance is to promote the creation of new high-paying careers. Unfortunately, many of the jobs being subsidized by taxpayers pay below average rates. Our plan ensures any job funded by the taxpayers is a good, high-paying career that improves the economics of the local community. 
  • Taxpayers have invested a lot into the state’s economic development deals. But many of these projects are held up or threatened when state officials and local officials don’t communicate or coordinate on permits. This plan finally brings them together to make sure every need is covered. If taxpayers are going to invest in new jobs, government officials need to be fully invested in getting it done. 
  • A big part of economic development is making sure locations are ready for new investments and that Michigan is full of places where new businesses want to locate and create jobs. Our plan ensures half of the state’s economic development funds are set aside to prepare job sites and improve existing sites, making Michigan an even more attractive place to create good, high-paying careers.  
  • Unused economic development funding can sit for years waiting for the right opportunity to come along. In 2023, $500 million that could have been spent elsewhere in our budget was held this way. Our plan takes unused funds and returns them to the state’s general fund to either be spent elsewhere or spent on economic development projects after hearings and public debate. 

Restoring workers’ freedom to accept any job they want and keep what they earn.

  • Michigan’s Legislature was the first ever to repeal a ‘right to work’ law, which allowed people to accept any job without having to first join a union. The lack of right to work protections has closed off opportunities for some employees, taken money out of the paychecks of others, and made Michigan a less attractive place for new businesses looking to put down roots and put people to work.

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