An advocate for west Michigan working families through collective action, education and community partnerships.
LANSING June 30, 2015— Progress Michigan is reporting that today Gov. Rick Snyder silenced the voices of millions of Michiganders by signing legislation that prevents local governments from protecting workers, raising wages and ensuring communities benefit from new development.
The bill, known as the Death Star bill, prohibits local governments from passing paid sick day, minimum wage, prevailing wage and community benefit ordinances.
“It’s unfortunate that the governor chose to sign HB4052,” said Lakeshore Community Labor Council Chair Ryan Bennett (UA Local 174). “This sends the message to local elected officials that they are incapable of managing their own affairs. This also comes at a time when Lansing is struggling to deliver a palatable road funding solution, and is struggling to balance the unfunded liability of expiring Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) credits.”
Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber also came out strongly against the bill in a recent editorial:
Make no mistake, this is a clear political power grab that will dramatically undermine local control in Michigan. And for a political party that claims to abhor the idea of “big government,” this bill represents a broad expansion of the size and scope of state government at the expense of our local communities.
Kent-Ionia Labor Council President Sean Egan (IBEW Local 275) agrees that this is a blatant attack on local autonomy.
“No one is closer to the day-to-day issues of working men and women than our local elected officials and school boards,” Egan said. “For state legislators to assume they understand local issues across our diverse state, and eliminate local control over important issues for working families, is a direct attack on democracy. The governor’s claim that standardization is good for business ignores the needs of different communities.
“Overall, a disgusting attack on local control to ensure the power of corporations.”
Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, says this is just the latest in a series of attacks on working families by Snyder and Republican legislators.
“The crux of this bill is abundantly clear: it’s designed to attack workers and limit local democracy,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Gov. Snyder has led a coordinated attack on democracy and workers ever since he set foot into office and this is the next iteration of that effort. The freedom to fight for a better future for our communities is being clobbered by Gov. Snyder and his conservative cronies in the legislature. There’s a reason we called this bill the ‘Death Star’ — it’s a symbol of the tyrannical power that Gov. Snyder has wielded during his tenure as governor and it silences the voices of millions of Michiganders.”