Senators Jacobs and Gleason, under their constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of Senate Bill No. 773.
Senator Jacobs’ statement is as follows:
This was a very tough vote for me to take, certainly, because Federal Mogul is in my district. As minority vice chair of the Finance Committee, I need to look at the big picture. That is really what I try to do as I ended up pressing my red button. I really feel that this bill is regressive; it goes too far. We just revamped MEGA last year.
As I look at what other states are doing, and we want to be the most competitive state, I think we should be trying to strengthen MEDC as we move forward so that we are competitive with Indiana, Texas, and some of the other states that seem to be attracting more of our businesses.
It is with that in mind in terms of trying to strengthen our tools and our toolbox I voted “no” on this.
Senator Gleason’s statement is as follows:
I believe there were some misstatements made in regard to the opposition to my amendment with regard to the prevailing wage. It is not unusual to have documentation that fully explains that those jobs that typically incorporate prevailing wage saves money at the end of the job by completing it in a more timely fashion and under budget. Typically, the jobs that are bid out and utilize prevailing wage save money at the end of the day. Also there are less workers who are hurt, historically, using the highest skilled, most qualified, most safety-oriented workers in the state.
It was mentioned that there has been an exodus from Michigan to other states with job losses and losing workers. I think our first obligation ought to be to retain the most qualified and highest skilled from leaving our state and going to other regions. Only last year, this chamber with great wisdom voted on a boiler bill because we don’t even have enough contractors with prevailing wage employees to build the projects that we would like to implement here in the state because there has been an exodus of hard-hats from Michigan to surrounding states because they have to go there to go to work.
I am sticking up for the highest qualified, highest skilled, safest, and least expensive workers on behalf of my district and the state as a whole.