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Friday, 13 January 2012 10:50

What legislative changes would you like Gov. Snyder to champion in 2012?

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Diana Sieger
President, Grand Rapids Community Foundation

The return of the charitable tax credits. Community foundations along with public museums, universities, food banks and many others have been able to offer their donors credits to their Michigan Income Tax liability. Frankly, the loss of the credits does not help replenish the coffers of nonprofits who are in the frontlines of meeting the needs of people who are in need of housing, food, transportation and addressing critical health concerns.

Health/insurance

Kent Riddle
CEO, Mary Free Bed Hospital

I would like to see the Governor step in to two current legislative debates and maintain current Michigan law in two key areas: our no-fault auto insurance program and our motorcycle helmet law.
House Bill 4936 wants to eliminate our personal injury protection by allowing drivers to purchase capped medical benefits in exchange for reduced premiums. The consequences of scrapping a system that already works well will do nothing but increase costs for taxpayers, eliminate jobs and jeopardize the ability of injured drivers to maximize their recovery potential and return to being productive citizens.

For more than 40 years, Michigan has required motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The single biggest argument we hear from opponents to the helmet law is that it restricts freedom, which they translate into a loss of tourism dollars. However, every Michigan resident pays when a motorcyclist lands in the hospital after an accident.

Tom Rosenbach
Managing Partner,
Beene Garter LLP

I feel really strongly about the bill being pushed to end auto no-fault: I think it’s a disaster. I’d like to see him kill that and leave it where it is. It’s not good for people in the state. It’s not good for business. I’d like to see the governor kill that and eliminate the chance for that bill to pass. I think it’s just wrong.

Energy/utilities

Bill Stough
CEO,
Sustainable Research Group LLC

1) Amend Act 295 to increase the percent of renewable energy required in the grid from 10 to 33 percent. 2) Legislate that all utilities — municipals as well as investor-owned — be required to offer a feed-in tariff program to promote homeowner and business installation of on-site renewable energy systems that feed into the electric grid. 3) Pass legislation to allow net-metering so that investors in renewable energy technology can be paid for the energy their systems send back into the grid.

Bruce Goodman
Partner, Varnum LLP

If I could influence (Gov. Snyder’s) energy policy, it would include the following five points:

  1. Biomass energy: making use of the energy in biomass that is going to waste in this state;
  2. Energy efficiency and conservation: making better use of our energy resources;
  3. Deregulation and customer choice on electricity: reintroducing competition into the purchase and production of electricity within our state;
  4. Encourage electric vehicles: making this state the most electric-vehicle-friendly state in the nation to support the huge bet the state has placed on the electric vehicle industry;
  5. Make Michigan a model for renewable energy: helping made-in-Michigan renewable products and leading the world as a showcase for these technologies.

Mark Fazakerley
President, Eagle Alloy

Electrical rates are a big thing for heavy manufacturers. He needs to get involved in that. We’re concerned about how electrical rates have been set in the state of Michigan.

Right To Work

Rick DeKam
Principal, Midwest Realty Group

Make Michigan a Right to Work state and overhaul our entire state, personal and real property tax system to become competitive and attractive to business once again.

Tim Schowalter
President and CEO,
Pioneer Construction

I think Governor Snyder has been doing a great job providing leadership in Lansing particularly in regards to balancing the budget. I would like to see him champion the Right to Work legislation so Michigan will be more attractive to major companies looking to locate in Michigan.

Duke Suywn
President and CEO of
West Michigan,
Colliers International

Create Right to Work zones and continue to dismantle unnecessary and overburden some regulations that prohibit businesses from growing and expanding.

Richard VanderZyden
President,
Wolverine Building Group

We would love to see Michigan become a Right to Work state, but we understand that is not likely.

Taxes

Cecile Fehsenfeld
President, Schuler Books and Music

The law that we would like to see supported in Michigan is allowing for a company like Amazon to be required to charge sales tax. For any brick-and-mortar retailer, they are disadvantaged to a company like Amazon if they are not charging sales tax. Getting that law established would help make all independent retailers more competitive.

Arnie Mikon
President and CEO, TowerPinkster

We cannot afford to lose the revenue, but we have to address the personal property tax issue. When you invest and buy a piece of equipment, you pay more tax, and that is very counterproductive.

NITC/INFRASTRUCTURE

Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos
Co-CEOs, Amway

Amway and many other Western Michigan businesses strongly support the construction of the New International Trade Crossing, the new bridge between Detroit and Windsor. With one in six West Michigan jobs dependent upon trade with Canada, this is a critical part of Michigan’s economic comeback.

Birgit Klohs
President and CEO,
The Right Place Inc.

Governor Snyder must continue to champion three major priorities he announced in 2011: workforce development, infrastructure, and the New International Trade Crossing. The governor has presented plans to address each of these critical priorities, but it will require the support and collaboration from both sides of the aisle to turn plans into action.

Arnie Mikon
President and CEO, TowerPinkster

I do a lot of traveling on I-94. I’d like to see the bridge issue solved positively. Yes, I think there should be another bridge.

Robert Roth
President and CEO,
RoMan Manufacturing Inc.

We need to keep fighting for second crossing in Windsor. He will have to regroup and continue to fight that fight. Related to bridge, the general transportation infrastructure needs some help. If he focused on those three things, any business in Michigan would be benefitted.

Doug Wagner
Managing Partner,
Warner Norcross Judd LLP

It is very important to the future of this state and its economic welfare that Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Legislature approve a new bridge between the U.S. and Canada. The Canadians have made it clear that they are willing to underwrite the cost of this venture, but only if the bridge is constructed to route it through a major thoroughfare.

Education

Tom Fehsenfeld
President, Crystal Flash Energy

Because the education of our children is critical for our future, I hope Gov. Snyder will work to restore school funding — with accountability for results — as quickly as possible. I also support his efforts to put the funding of infrastructure on a sound basis for the way the economy works today.

Rick DeKam

Principal, Midwest Realty Group

Underwrite education from elementary through college. Our system is broken and overpriced. If we continue to export our graduating classes, then let them pay the difference when they leave. I say this with two of my three children still in college here in Michigan.

Robert Roth

President and CEO,
RoMan Manufacturing Inc.

They need to continue their efforts on education and education reform. We have to find a better way for Lansing, the business community and education to work together.

Read 1559 times Last modified on Monday, 13 August 2012 13:40
Brian Edwards

Editor & Publisher

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