Michigan House Republicans
Leader Hall: Higher costs on Michiganders are ‘what’s next’ from Michigan Democrats
RELEASE|August 30, 2023
Contact: Matt Hall

House Republican Leader Matt Hall on Wednesday called for the Legislature to make life more affordable for Michiganders following the governor’s “What’s Next” speech, in which she is outlined an agenda that will only increase the cost of living.

The governor pushed for green-energy mandates — driving up electric bills — and a new payroll tax on small businesses and workers. The heavy-handed proposals come as Democrats in the Legislature look to advance many other bills increasing red tape and costs interfering with Michigan businesses and workers.

“This year, the Democrat majority has been consumed with an extreme agenda that is making life more expensive in our state, but even more costs on Michiganders are coming next,” said Hall, R-Richland Township. “At the behest of radical environmental lobbyists, Democrats want to handcuff Michigan energy and shut down reliable, affordable natural gas plants, instead buying solar panels produced in coal-powered China. Democrats are pushing to throw our energy market into chaos. Electric bills for residents and small businesses will go up to pay for this drastic change, but Democrats use misleading numbers to ignore common sense. China doesn’t care about Gov. Whitmer’s plan to stop climate change — but they’ll get rich while Michiganders foot the bill. Meanwhile, Democrats will strip communities of local control and take away rural farmland to implement their irrational energy overhaul.

“To make matters even worse, Democrats are planning to create a new, burdensome payroll tax on small businesses and Michigan workers — in addition to an income tax hike. Democrats’ already spent all of Michigan’s resources in their budget, and they baked in the coming income tax hike to pay for their wasteful spending. After years of rising costs of living, we should be making life more affordable, but the next radical items on Democrats’ agenda will only demand more money from the people of Michigan and send more residents looking for a better life out of state.”

Expensive electricity: In her speech, the governor called for a 100% clean energy standard on a tight timeline — a move that will make basic electricity more expensive. House Democrats have already introduced House Bills 4759-4761, which would mandate carbon-free electric generation by 2035, shutting down natural gas plants that have low emissions due to carbon-capture technology. The move will waste money to meet the premature deadlines and increase electricity costs for residents and local businesses. Democrats falsely claim Michiganders will save bllions of dollars total, but they assume people will first spend tens of thousands of dollars on vehicle and home purchases in order to “save.”

With hundreds of square miles of solar panels needed to implement the extreme policy, the governor also called for the state to override local control of approval for green energy projects. Meanwhile, bad actors in other countries continue to rely heavily on coal. For instance, China, a leading producer of solar panels, permitted two new coal power plants each week in 2022.

Slashed wages: The governor also called for a costly program paid for by a new tax on employers and employees alike. House Bills 4574-4575 would create a new 15-week paid leave program, patterned after Michigan’s broken, fraud-riddled unemployment system and funded by a new tax on businesses and workers, with up to 50% of the tax taken directly from workers’ paychecks. The tax will also force local job providers to raise prices to cover increased costs.

Hiked taxes: The governor’s new proposals are just Democrats’ latest policies that will make life more expensive for Michigan residents. Democrats attempted to block an automatic income tax cut earlier this year, but thanks to Hall’s efforts, the tax cut for every Michigander and small business took effect. However, Democrats now are fighting in court to ignore the plain meaning of the law and claim the tax rate should go back up in January, an increase they need to pay for their entire $82 billion budget.

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