New House Democratic Leader Richard Hammel, of Mt. Morris Township, joins Bay City's Charles Brunner, right, and other supporters to announce a "Hire Michigan First" jobs plan.
Rep. Brunner, House Democrats Launch Michigan Jobs First Plan
January 30, 2011
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By: Dave Rogers
Clean coal is part of a plan State Rep. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, is bringing to Bay City today.
The message to be delivered at the IBEW union hall is: "Hire Michigan First!"
But Clean Coal, the essence of the proposed $2.3 billion expansion of Bay City's Karn-Weadock plant, is only one key element in a Democratic-led jobs rally.
Barring illegal immigrants on projects backed with state funds and building the proposed Detroit River international crossing project are the other parts of the plan.
House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township) said that he wants quick bipartisan action on three plans that will put tens of thousands of Michigan workers back on the job in the coming months.
"People in Michigan need jobs, and they need them now," Hammel said. "House Democrats have been working for years on concrete plans to create jobs. 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. 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."
In a press conference with other members of the House Democratic Caucus, Hammel highlighted three initiatives that House Dems have been working on for years. They are:
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 -- 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.
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.
"What I hear from my constituents every day is that they want me to focus, first and foremost, on supporting our businesses so they can create jobs in our community and put people back to work," said House Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek).
"I am sure that every legislator is hearing this back home. Lansing must act quickly on plans that will help tens of thousands of people get back on their feet in the coming months -- not next year or five years down the road. I look forward to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with the new Governor to get the job done."
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Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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