Improving Michigan’s job climate

As my first year representing the people of the 15th Senate District comes to a close, I am happy to report that Michigan is better today than it was a year ago.

In the past 11 months, my fellow Senate Republicans and I have challenged the status quo with bold and decisive action. Those efforts have generated good news for our struggling state, as Michigan’s credit rating for all bonds was upgraded late this past summer to positive from stable by Fitch Ratings and the state’s General Obligation Rating was improved to “AA-.”

This upgrade means that Michigan bonds are safer, more highly valued and that we will get a better rate when borrowing money. That saves taxpayers’ money and makes Michigan more competitive relative to other states in attracting businesses that create jobs. That’s good news for job seekers.

Having our credit rating upgraded is a step in the right direction. While my legislative colleagues and I had to make tough choices so far this year, those decisions resulted in improvements in our financial position that benefit people all across the state.

Restoring Michigan’s AAA credit rating status is a long-term goal. In order to achieve that objective, we must continue working to help the state’s economy recover and budget responsibly. Going forward, I can assure you that I will focus on fiscal responsibility and doing what is best for Michigan and its residents.

In other news, this year I supported a law to crack down on unemployment fraud and ensure the stability of these vital benefits for people who truly need them. By cracking down on the cheaters who are scamming the system by collecting benefits they don’t deserve, we can help ensure that unemployment is available to individuals who really need it.

As I look ahead to the next year, I can ensure you that helping spur job growth remains at the core of our upcoming agenda. While we have already made significant reforms, there is still much to be done.

To help foster a pro-jobs environment, we are going to take a look at reforming Michigan’s personal property tax, which discourages business investment in equipment and technology. Additionally, we plan to streamline permitting and regulation, and rebuild our roads and bridges. We must invest in our state if we expect job providers to follow suit.

I consider it a true privilege and honor to be your voice in Lansing. We have made significant progress turning the state around and we are heading in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go. I look forward to continuing this important work for residents of the 15th Senate District and the entire state of Michigan.

Sen. Mike Kowall represents the 15th state Senate District, which includes the townships of Commerce, Highland, Holly, Lyon, Milford, Novi, Rose, West Bloomfield and White Lake; as well as the villages of Holly, Milford and Wolverine Lake; and the cities of Novi, Northville (the Oakland County portion), Orchard Lake, South Lyon, Walled Lake and Wixom.