Senate Republicans unveil plan to meet Michigans challenges

By Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek

Michigan is facing many serious challenges that require serious solutions. Senate Republicans recently unveiled our fall agenda that offers real answers to spurring job creation, strengthening education, protecting our citizens and making government more accountable and efficient.

As we work to reinvigorate our economy, we must embrace new ideas and restructure how the state operates if our economic and fiscal problems are going to be resolved.

Jobs remain our top priority. That’s why fostering job growth is the main focus of the Senate Republican plan. The cornerstone of this strategy is reforming the state’s personal property tax. This tax punishes businesses that expand and invest in Michigan by taxing the value of the new equipment and technologies the company purchases to stay competitive.

The personal property tax hits manufacturers especially hard, and even though manufacturing is the state’s number one industry, we are the only state in the Great Lakes region that taxes job providers in this manner. Michigan should be encouraging businesses to grow and invest.

To attract new jobs to Michigan, we must remove the barriers that make our state uncompetitive. That is why I sponsored Senate Bill 34. This will begin the discussion on how we go about reforming this cumbersome tax.

Cutting through the bureaucratic red tape and rebuilding our roads are also key initiatives in the Senate Republican agenda that will help attract job providers to Michigan. Time is money, and the quicker a business can navigate the regulatory process, the faster they can grow their business and put Michigan residents to work.

A highly educated workforce is also vital to businesses attempting to compete in the 21st century economy. That is why Senate Republicans will help ensure our children get the education they need by empowering parents to be more proactive in their child's education with more and creative choices.

Senate Republicans will also protect our seniors against those who would take financial advantage of their trust. We want to create a statewide alert system to find and safely return missing vulnerable adults, as well as strengthen tools to prosecute cases of elder abuse. Our caucus has also taken steps to ban partial birth abortions in Michigan and clarify the medical marijuana law to stop people from using loopholes to obtain marijuana for recreational use.

While protecting Michigan families, we will also protect their American dream. The Senate has already approved legislation to make mortgage fraud a felony and increase the punishments for those who prey on financially vulnerable homeowners. I look forward to seeing this reform become law so that we can retain the dream of homeownership for all Michigan families.

The Senate fall agenda is about improving Michigan’s economy, preserving our values and returning government to the people. I look forward to tackling our challenges with real, long-term solutions that will improve the lives of all Michigan families and restore our great state’s position as a leader in the world.