Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bierlein: Governor’s policy priorities make government bigger, life more expensive
RELEASE|August 30, 2023

State Rep. Matthew Bierlein today took issue with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announced agenda, highlighting negative impacts the push will have on consumers, small business owners, families, rural communities and attempts to attract residents to Michigan.

Whitmer and Democrat leaders went through several initiatives that increase regulation and costs while not addressing problems and priorities many people across the state feel are more pressing.

“The governor has already committed to hiking taxes to cover state spending,” Bierlein said. “Now she is doubling down with policy ideas that will make life more costly for people in our state as they already are struggling with inflation. Flooring it with spending on the backs of hard-working taxpayers is not going to increase our state’s ceiling. It’s only going to make Michigan less attractive for people who are looking to live, work and raise a family here.”

Bierlein specifically underscored green energy mandates and timelines that will have drastic effects for rural areas. Proposals in the Legislature would work to establish a carbon-free standard in Michigan by 2035. Bierlein said the move will ultimately close natural gas plants and increase electric prices for Michigan families who already pay too much for a grid that isn’t reliable. The move also doesn’t take into account if the state’s infrastructure will be able to meet such a timeline – which Bierlein said is putting “cart before horse.” The planned carbon-free standard works hand-in-hand with yet-to-be-introduced legislation from Democrats that would shift the power to permit major solar projects from municipalities to state government – a move that strips local control, silences local voices and sets dangerous precedent.

Bierlein also said proposed paid leave initiatives are unsustainable. Bills currently in the Legislature would require workers and employers in Michigan to fund up to 15 weeks of paid leave every year. To cover the program, up to 50 percent of a new tax would be taken directly from workers’ paychecks. The program would also result in lower wages for workers or higher prices for consumers to offset costs for local job providers.

“The governor seems committed to making sure people are keeping less of what they earn through these plans,” Bierlein said. “This is not the right approach for the state.”

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