LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Gov. Rick Snyder wants to lure 5,000 high-tech jobs to Michigan and wants lawmakers to pass a tax break bill to help but efforts to do that this week fell apart because of an internal political dispute.
Gov. Rick Snyder is competing with Wisconsin for 5,000 high-tech jobs from a company in Taiwan that would pump $4.2 billion into Michigan’s economy.
But the House Republican Speaker Tom Leonard opposes the measure as some conservatives contend it is more corporate welfare.
But earlier this week Mr. Leonard said he would not stand in the way of the proposal if the governor could find the votes.
Even though the governor was in Europe, his team worked with the House Democratic leader Sam Singh and gave the Democrats some changes to the bill but when Speaker Leonard discovered the governor had given the Democrats something he did not like, he blocked the final vote.
Republican Senator Wayne Schmidt says that could hurt the creation of more jobs as Michigan attempts to complete on a very broad playing field. “I think it does put us at a disadvantage as we compete with other states for jobs and even Europe.”
Senate Democrats, many of whom voted for the original “Good Jobs” package are now critical of the Republican Speaker for blocking the vote.
“I don’t understand how the politics has to get in the way of this,” says Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. “The Speaker made a deal with the governor to vote. We passed it in the Senate with bipartisan support and I don’t see why internal politics is getting in the way of creating jobs heres in Michigan.”
But Republican Sen. Jim Stamas refuses to criticize the House Speaker, suggesting there is momentum on the “Good Jobs” package. “I’m excited with the momentum we have made. [Momentum] creates the conversation, puts us in a great position. This is the legislature. It needs a little more time. I’m used to that.”
The House will return on July 12th to work on this but it’s unclear if that will be too late to land those 5000 jobs from Taiwan.