Moderate Republicans and Democrats worked together to ram through the “Good Jobs” package in the Michigan House.
The legislation creates an incentive program that allows large corporations to keep a portion or all of the income taxes their new employees would otherwise pay to the state, if they are able to meet job creation and worker wage requirements.
On Wednesday, the package was passed by the Michigan House, 71-35.
Speaker Leonard and his leadership team deserve credit from supporters for opposing this policy that greatly grows the influence and our reliance on government. However, conservative grassroots activists across the state need to work hard to elect more conservatives in legislative races to stop bad legislation like this from passing in the future.
In total, 40 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted in favor of it. The Senate signed off on the House version, and the it will now go to Governor Snyder to sign.
Leaders of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee, Republican Chairman Ben Frederick, and Democratic Minority Vice Chair Leslie Love, released a joint statement applauding approval of the legislation.
They claim the incentive plan will help Michigan compete against bordering states, including Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Leonard came out against the legislation early on. He had previously cancelled a vote on the package back in June.
This time around, 22 strong conservative Republicans in the House refused vote with their colleagues, and instead sided with Speaker Leonard in standing up against the legislation that benefits large corporations.
Republican Martin Howrylak said in a statement, “This is cronyism and corporate welfare. The average individual and small business taxpayer will be left holding the bag.”
Conservative organizations such as the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Americans for Prosperity, and the Michigan Freedom Fund also strongly opposed the legislation.
Leonard said he considers the bills “bad tax policy” that allows the government to pick economic winners and losers.
“I believe Senate Bills 242-244 are bad for Michigan, and I believe they are especially bad for the community that chose me as its representative,” he said a the statement. “However, a majority of my colleagues disagreed and chose to pursue these bills. I respect their opinion; I simply do not share it.”