LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – A critical vote is slated for tomorrow in the Michigan House on a business tax break that could net there state 5,000 new jobs.
The question today is whether the governor can cobble together the votes to pass it.
After telling the governor two weeks ago that he would allow a vote on the “Good Jobs” package, Speaker Tom Leonard blocked the vote because he was unhappy that the governor was making deals with Democrats on the proposal.
The House Democratic leader Sam Singh was willing to provide those Democrats votes that the governor apparently needs in return for a promise that the governor would oppose any anti-labor legislation the Republicans might offer.
Mr. Leonard did not like that and demanded a face to face meeting with the governor and that happened today.
The governor was working with the Democrats because he could not round up enough Republican votes to create these business tax incentives.
Former Democratic Rep. Harvey Santana, who now works for the governor in his Detroit office, says Detroit lawmakers will support the governor if he gives them some guarantees that Detroiters will get some of the new jobs.
But outstate Republican lawmakers such as Triston Cole want to make sure this is not a Detroit-only package because that would be hard to sell to his constituents back home. He’s received assurances this is a tax break for the entire state.
Last month the governor and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan made a last-minute trip to meet with the Taiwanese high-tech firm Foxconn which wants to bring 5000 jobs to the US and Michigan is in the running along with Wisconsin and others. The governor wants this tax break to seal the deal for Michigan, if the legislature goes along.
The Senate, on a bi-partisan vote, passed the plan but outside conservative groups such as the DeVos family’s Michigan Freedom Fund call this corporate welfare and it is urging a “no” vote tomorrow.
And since the DeVos family donates lots of money to House Republican candidates, that could influence the outcome of the vote even if the governor and the Speaker make a deal.