(Bobby Schostak) – Less than a year ago, Michigan voters went to the polls and elected a governor that few knew a lot about in terms of political accomplishments. In fact, Rick Snyder ran as someone who had never held public office.
But six months into his first term he has accomplished much, leading a team of Republicans – Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Speaker Jase Bolger, and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville – in a fast, furious and positive-minded reform effort to turn Michigan around.
Simply put: This Republican team has passed laws aimed at growing jobs, cutting the cost of government, and ensuring that taxpayers’ money is used far more efficiently.
The team’s accomplishments include:
- Eliminating the Michigan Business Tax and its infamous surcharge – a huge burden on job growth that drove thousands of jobs out of Michigan and employers into giving up.
- Creating a fair, flat 6 percent corporate tax that also ends double taxing smaller businesses.
- Enacting a state budget that is structurally balanced for the first time in years and eliminating Michigan’s $1.5 billion deficit. It’s the earliest the budget has been settled in 30 years.
- Setting aside money to begin paying down Michigan’s long-term debt obligations.
- Updating Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law so the state can proactively work with communities and schools to avert a financial crisis.
- Eliminating the state’s onerous Item Pricing Law, which imposed extra burdens on businesses and had a negative net impact for consumers.
Moreover, no one is declaring victory.
Governor Snyder has proposed two sweeping educational reforms, including the Education Achievement System (“EAS”) in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts. The initiative will drive improvements in the lowest-performing schools in Detroit and across Michigan.
And the team is promising more in the months and years to come.
The bottom line is this: Michigan needed urgent action and meaningful reforms if it was ever going to allow us to ensure prosperity and safety for ourselves, our children and their children.
We are headed in the right direction in Lansing – and Republicans are leading the way.
(Bobby Schostak is chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.)