Friday, January 30, 2004
Legislative Changes Would Benefit Job Creation in the State
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, House Speaker Rick Johnson, Senate Democratic Leader Bob Emerson and House Democratic Leader Dianne Byrum today pledged that they will act quickly to approve legislation that is designed to preserve jobs in Michigan, including 800 automotive industry jobs at Federal Mogul facilities in St. Johns and Greenville.
"The state of Michigan is serious about keeping these jobs," Granholm said in a telephone call Thursday to Federal Mogul President and CEO Chip McClure. "Michigan will make an aggressive and compelling case to keep their jobs in this state. While the company made it clear that they sincerely want to keep their Greenville and St. Johns plants open, they also made it clear that their financial situation dictates that they examine all possibilities."
"I made it clear that Michigan will fight for those jobs," Granholm added.
Specifically, the Governor and the legislative leaders have agreed to amend the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Act to make it more flexible. Both Sikkema and Johnson have agreed to give the legislation fast-tract status so it can be acted on early next week.
"Protecting and growing jobs is not a Democrat or Republican issue; it's a Michigan issue," Sikkema said. "When it comes to making sure families have good-paying jobs, it's all hands on deck. We are going to do whatever it takes to keep these jobs in Michigan."
"Way too many jobs have left Michigan in the last year, and it will take a team effort to turn that around and protect workers," Johnson said. "This bipartisan legislation sends a unified message to job providers and workers throughout our state that we will continue the fight for every Michigan job and we won't stop fighting until every person who wants to work can find a good job."
"The steps agreed to by each caucus and the administration demonstrate our resolve to keep good jobs in Michigan," Emerson said. "This action sends a strong message not only to Michigan companies, but to corporations all over the world."
"We need to amend MEGA now to help us protect and create jobs in this state," Byrum said. "Acting now will demonstrate our firm resolve to act aggressively to keep jobs in Michigan."
At the Governor's direction, the MEDC is also working with local government, community and labor leaders in Greenville and St. Johns to help their efforts to retain the company facilities.
Granholm outlined her commitment to making MEGA more flexible as part of her 7-point plan to grow Michigan's economy in her State of the State Address last Tuesday.