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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Text of Bishop's Response

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 08:15:31 PM EST
    Tags: Bishop, State of the State (all tags)

    Good evening, my name is Mike Bishop and I have the honor of serving as your majority leader in the Michigan Senate.  

    Thank you for this opportunity to offer the Republican perspective on the state of our state.


    I'd like to begin with the premise that regardless of political affiliation, Republican or Democrat, we all want what's best for our state, and we are all committed to working together at a time when our state needs strong leadership.

    Michiganders are resilient, our people and their work ethic are tougher and stronger, and we're not afraid to stare down adversity and meet our challenges head on.

    Each and every one of us has felt the awful effects of this economy and all of us are ready to step up and do whatever it takes to turn this state around.

    I pledge to you that the Republican-led Senate will embrace that spirit and work with the governor and our counterparts in the House to deliver a better Michigan.

    As you heard tonight, the governor's presentation included her ideas on how to use federal funds to improve our state and its infrastructure.  

    While we welcome an open dialogue on ideas to turn this economy around, make no mistake about it, a temporary infusion of federal tax dollars is not and will never be the antidote for what ails our state in the long run.  It's not rocket science.  You can't increase spending and debt and somehow hope to resolve a serious budget crisis.  

    We must have a plan, and the resolve to implement that plan.

    This is why Senate Republicans will be unveiling a bold agenda, starting with a 3 step plan that we will implement in the next 45 days.  Our plan provides instant stimulus to help Fix Michigan.  

    This plan does not concentrate on the spending of tax dollars to jumpstart our economy.  Rather, it incentivizes job providers - those who have been here for years and call Michigan home and also those job providers looking for a home.

    Now, the first step of the plan is simple and straightforward -- the House must follow the Senate's lead and pass Senate Bill 1.  Repeal the 22 percent surcharge on our state's business tax!

    We simply cannot ignore the damage that the business surcharge is doing to our state's job providers.

    Even the governor must acknowledge that when the Legislature passes tax incentives, businesses thrive and jobs are created.

    General Motors, for example, has already taken advantage of a new law passed by the Legislature in December that gives Michigan a competitive leg-up to build batteries for hybrid and electric cars.  This is public policy that helps us grow this innovative industry, right here in Michigan!

    The film industry has flocked to our state to make movies because of recently passed tax credits that dramatically reduce costs for production here in Michigan.  In fact, just today Motown Motion Pictures Studio announced it will create 3,500 jobs right here in Pontiac, Michigan.  

    Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation will be investing in a $1 billion expansion of a Saginaw County manufacturing complex, adding 300 full time positions.  

    These are a few examples of success stories that prove tax cuts work, and are an effective way to create jobs and attract businesses to Michigan.  

    Just think if we cut business taxes across the board and created a competitive business environment for all Michigan job providers - can you imagine the growth we would see in all sectors of our state's economy?

    The second part of our plan calls for the Senate to pass legislation to bring property taxes in line with home values.  You will no longer have to watch your property tax bill increase while the value of your home plummets.  This is an effective and important step in keeping Michigan families in their homes.

    Third, Senate Republicans will pass a comprehensive plan to reinvigorate our stagnant housing market by providing a tax credit for purchases of new homes.  

    We know a thriving housing market can spur a turnaround in consumer confidence and revitalize the American dream.  

    These are common-sense fixes that will help provide immediate relief to Michigan families and job providers.  It's a great step in the right direction, and we understand it's just part of the solution.  

    Senate Republicans recognize that it will take more than tax cuts to see us through these challenging times.  Government must make real changes and reforms to spending before we can begin to see a turnaround in this budget crisis.  

    This is why I have asked Senator Ron Jelinek, our Senate Appropriations chairman, to review each item in our state budget, department by department, and find savings.  It's a difficult task given the many needs of our people, but it simply must be done.

    In order for government to serve the overwhelming needs of the people, we must first be certain that state resources are well-directed and used efficiently.
    When a job provider who wants to start a new business or construction on a new project can't get a permit in a fast and timely manner, government has failed.  

    When a worker has to wait weeks upon weeks and stand in line out in the cold, or wait on a phone line for countless hours for unemployment benefits, government has absolutely failed.

    When tax dollars are wasted because the government thinks it can do a better job of providing a service than the private sector, government has failed.

    Senate Republicans will work diligently to make sure government provides Michigan residents with critical services -- efficiently and effectively.  

    If you are trying to start a new business, or expand an existing one, it's our goal to keep government out of your way.  

    If you're out of work and need access to unemployment benefits, we'll make sure someone is there to answer the phone, and assist you through this very difficult time.

    The less taxpayer dollars are wasted on unnecessary administrative costs, underperforming programs and a bloated bureaucracy, the more those dollars can be wisely directed to the programs needed by our citizens -- like better schools for our children, increased access to affordable health care, and services to the poor and aging.

    With adversity comes opportunity.  Our state is facing massive challenges - unlike any we have ever seen. It's time for our leaders to rise up, take the reins and make the tough decisions that will lead us back to prosperity.  

    It's time for us to work together to Fix Michigan.  We owe it to the people of this great state -- to our taxpaying citizens, to our job providers, and most importantly, we owe it to our children.  

    Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you tonight and for the honor of serving you.  

    God bless you, your families and our great state of Michigan.

    < LiveBlogging the State of the State | Convictions >

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