Brunner: We Need Bipartisan Action to Create Jobs NOW

Legislator wants movement on Hire Michigan First, clean coal plants
Thursday, January 13, 2011

LANSING – State Representative Charles Brunner(D-Bay City) joined his colleagues today in calling for quick bipartisan action on three plans that will put tens of thousands of Michigan workers back on the job in the coming months.

"Lansing has a chance right now to show Michigan residents that their leaders are doing everything possible to put people back to work today – not next year or five or ten years down the road," Brunner said. "Unfortunately, folks have seen too much of a state government that has blocked jobs instead of creating them. We need to start saying 'yes' to businesses that want to create jobs for our workers, including state-of-the-art clean coal plants around Michigan, instead of saying 'no.' That's how we will attract new employers and get our economy going again."

In a press conference today, Brunner joined House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township) and other legislators to highlight three job-creating initiatives. They are:

Clean coal plants. Building a clean coal plant will create up to 5,000 jobs and help attract new employers to the state, and an approval process was established through

energy reforms championed by House Dems in 2008. However, Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm’s administration added a layer of regulation that has blocked the building of two plants.

The Hire Michigan First plan. This legislative package helps make sure that state economic development incentives and contracts are used to hire Michigan workers, not illegal immigrants or those from other states. House Democrats passed this plan multiple times, but key provisions were gutted by the Senate.

DRIC. The building of the Detroit River International Crossing – a second public bridge that is supported by business, labor and government groups across Michigan and Canada – will create 40,000 Michigan jobs, including 10,000 immediate construction jobs. House Dems passed the needed legislation last year, but the Senate didn't vote on it as promised.

"As we start the new legislative session, we hope that it truly is a 'new day' in Lansing and that legislative leaders and the new administration will work with us on these solutions so we can get people back on the job right away," Hammel said. "I think the residents of Michigan are encouraged by what they are hearing about a new bipartisan spirit. What they really want, though, is action. That's what House Democrats want as well."