Jobs & Business Growth
The job market is has improved dramatically in Michigan, but there is still work to be done! We need desirable, high paying jobs in our state—jobs that will not only provide for our immediate needs, but help us prepare for the future and plan for Michigan to not just “chase the pack”, but to set the pace.
We are a nation and a state of innovators. Yet too often the best and brightest are stifled by our intrusive, restrictive, and expensive government regulations and taxes. This directly prevents new businesses and industries from growing right here in Michigan and must stop. All around our district and this state, there are beautiful office buildings, and office parks, but many of them are vacant or in need of additional tenants. We need to roll out the red carpet to new businesses and industries and show them what Michigan has to offer—a smart and hardworking workforce with a low cost of living in a beautiful state.
It starts with aggressive tax reform and incentives to make us a magnet to out of state businesses, as well as supporting and rewarding those already here with an environment primed for growth. We should and can incentivize without picking “winners and losers” because it is simply not fair to pick one industry or company over anyone else. We need to continue to cut the red tape that smothers innovation, and create a culture that entices high paying jobs to come right here to Michigan.
Michigan is ranked 50th in the nation for Transparence in government. We must do better! I will fight to remove the FOIA exemption for the Governor’s office and State Legislature, Increase Financial Disclosure requirements for all State Legislators to avoid Conflicts of Interest, and Balance freedom of speech in campaign finance with transparency in reporting and disclosure.
We need to make smart choices to increase our education standards and to keep us competitive nationally, but not with top-down one-size-fits-all policies. Standards should be established locally, with local groups making the decisions. As has been evident too many times, federal policies lower all of our standards down to the lowest common denominator, which then does not keep us competitive, nor does it keep us growing or stretching to achieve our full potential. Michigan should be a leader in education and innovation. Here in the 41st district, we are very fortunate to have some of the best school districts and teachers in the country, but much of the state is not as fortunate. We need policies that encourage and foster parental involvement and accountability in every school district, so that our most precious resource, our children, can learn and grow in environments of excellence and will set the pace for education standards throughout the country.
Additionally, we need to expand our skilled trade education programs and schooling. It is estimated there are 100,000 unfilled, high-paying jobs in our state—jobs that could be immediately filled if Michigan only had more skilled trade workers. Let’s work together to get programs in our high schools and reduce costs for post-high school skilled trade education.
Roads, Bridges & Infrastructure
Most Michigan residents will agree state government should make our roads, bridges, and other infrastructure a top priority; and yet, we continually struggle to do so. We must commit to do something right away about our failing infrastructure. We need roads that aren’t crumbling beneath our cars, causing expensive repairs and extensive frustration. Funding has been increased and allocated for our roads, bridges, and infrastructure, but we still lag far behind nationally. Very recently, Michigan was 50th in the country in per capita spending for its roads and bridges. This is simply unacceptable. We cannot afford to be last in anything! We must continue to change how our transportation dollars are collected and spent, so that we are not wasting funds, but are ensuring that we are getting the full benefit of our hard-earned dollars. We must amend Public Act 51 to ensure proper and fair distribution of our existing tax dollars for Troy & Clawson roads. This has to be a priority.
Over the past few years, Michigan has made improvements in its tax code, but the work is not done. We need to aggressively reform how our taxes are collected, making them flatter and smaller. We were promised the income tax would be reduced back to 3.9% after 10 years, but it was not done. It’s time to fulfill that promise to the people of Michigan and reduce the tax back to where it belongs! With new jobs and expanded business growth, we will be able to broaden our tax base, which will allow for all of us to give the government less of our hard-earned money, and yet still provide the state with the financial resources it needs to move forward. We need a government in Lansing that remembers the “state’s money” is actually the people’s money, and spends it accordingly and respectfully with that always in mind.
With the highest car insurance rates in the nation, we must reform our system to get rid of the fraud, protect the taxpayers from trial lawyers, and immediately reduce our rates.
Of course, it would be impossible to put all of the issues each and every one of us care so passionately about on this website. I’d love to hear directly from you about the issues you feel are important in this election and in our state. Please feel free to call me at (248) 813-8331 or email me Ethan@EthanDBaker.com anytime to share and discuss your thoughts and ideas.