A Letter From Your Michigan State Director

Date: December 16, 2015

Legislative Session Winds Down for 2015

Legislative Session Winds Down for 2015

As I write this message, the Michigan Legislature is in its
last week of session for 2015. They will break and most likely not return until
after the first of the year, probably in mid-January. This has been a busy
session year and we have been successful in moving the ball down the field for
small business on a number of different fronts in 2015!

In the fight against regulations, one of the biggest
victories
for small business in 2015 was the passage of legislation that effectively
halts plans by local government activists to mandate paid sick leave, higher
minimum wages and a number of other employer mandates at the city and county
level. The passage of Public Act 105 of 2015 prohibits local governments from
passing any ordinance or law that is stricter than existing state or federal
laws in this area.

On the tax front, NFIB efforts were responsible for derailing plans to pass a road funding plan that relied exclusively on huge fuel tax
and registration fee hikes. It is worth mentioning here that NFIB was the only
business group that opposed efforts to raise more than $1.6 billion in road
funding through tax hikes and registration fees alone. While still a tax hike, the
final plan
was a more modest proposal of $1.2 billion with a 50/50 mix of
$600 million in new revenue in the form of pump tax and registration fee
increases and $600 million in future earmarks of the state’s general fund
revenue.

All in all, 2015 was another good year for small business in
Michigan, however, there are serious challenges on the horizon that will
require our continued vigilance in 2016.  While NFIB has been successful in blocking federal,
state and local efforts to impose wage and benefit mandates, labor unions
and liberal progressive front groups are now conducting a petition drive to put
a mandated paid leave proposal on the Michigan statewide ballot in
2016! If the big labor unions and community activist groups are successful
in getting this proposal passed on the ballot in the 2016 November
elections, Michigan would have one of the most stringent paid sick leave
employer mandates in the country. There is also a petition drive effort to
almost double the Corporate Income Tax so the “big government” crowd will have
more to spend on welfare programs and election promises.

There has also been a disturbing drift in the sound public policies
that have brought Michigan back from economic stagnation and malaise. In 2015
we saw lawmakers backslide toward the central planning targeted
tax giveaways
for politically connected companies and industries that
wreaked havoc during the Granholm years. We also saw efforts to push huge
tax increases
on job providers to prop up social program budgets because of
changing federal requirements.

NFIB will be working on your behalf to meet these challenges
this week and in 2016.

To end on a positive note, there are more wins for small business
in the 2015 session, and you can review them on our website HERE. If you would like
a full report on the year’s legislative session, drop in on our 2015
Legislative Wrap Up Webinar
on Friday, December 18, 2015 from 9:30am –
10:30am.

Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season!

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