Senator Hunter, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of Senate Bill No. 20 and moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the bill be printed as his reasons for voting “no.”
The motion prevailed.
Senator Hunter’s statement is as follows:
I rise in opposition to this bill. Study after study has proven that proper ergonomic standards will both save money and increase worker productivity. The private sector has embraced ergonomic standards, and they did so knowing that it was in their best interest.
This bill, however, is a solution in search of a problem. This bill would prevent an advisory board under MIOSHA from promulgating rules. Well, this board has not yet promulgated any rules. In fact, Governor Snyder made clear in his State of the State address that he has no interest in MIOSHA promulgating rules. Don’t you, shouldn’t we, trust what our Governor says?
I also think that there is a general fundamental misunderstanding among some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle about MIOSHA. The business community does not want us to eliminate MIOSHA. We heard testimony in committee to support this yesterday. If you think this bill eliminates MIOSHA, you are wrong. NFIB testified that they have a great working relationship with MIOSHA and would much rather deal with them than deal with MIOSHA. In fact, if MIOSHA were to disappear tomorrow, then there could be examples of businesses having to go all the way to Chicago to receive training in best practices. Our small businesses have a relationship with MIOSHA workers, and they support the department.
Additionally, this bill makes an exemption for the enforcement of federal rules. Well, folks, there are no federal regulations. This bill was introduced out of fear of something that might happen. It is premature, unnecessary, and overall, I think, a bad idea. I would urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.
Before I sit down, Mr. President, I would like to make one observation. You have heard in committee and even on the floor that this is a one-of-a-kind standard and rule here in Michigan. Well, what about this one-of-a-kind law that we have only in the state of Michigan that is called drug immunity? What does that do to protect our citizens? What does that do to advance good public policy in this state as an, indeed, one-of-a-kind law that only exists here? So I think that argument just doesn’t hold water.