Candidate Survey: Michigan Manufacturers Association

This survey format will be a little different than the others I have posted so far. I completed the Michigan Manufacturers Association survey over the internet, and printed my answers and the questions before I submitted it. I’m going to post the two pages that contain the questions and answers, and then retype the answers under them because the type is extremely small.

MMA_Survey01 MMA_Survey025. I believe there is a place for regulations and mandates that provide for basic and preventative services that increase positive health outcomes for individuals and for the public, including mental health and cardiovascular health, among other things. Which specific Michigan-only coverage mandates are so onerous? It’s not hard to image that, state-by-state, there might be unique health issues that might need to be covered by Michigan-only coverage mandates that wouldn’t be required for others states.

6. I cannot answer this question without having specific knowledge of what employer-based workplace regulations are up for discussion. I cannot say that I would oppose new employer-based workplace mandates if I do not know what those new mandates might be, nor can I say that I support them. Those are the kinds of complex, consequential issues that need to be taken on a case-by-case basis, and committing one way or another before I have knowledge of these new mandates is not only inappropriate, but depending on what the mandates are, an abdication of responsibility.

7. I am very supportive of different kinds of education. Programs that will help residents attain the skills and knowledge they need to get the jobs that the manufacturing industry can provide are, naturally, worthy of strong support, and I do support them. Providing better access to career and technical education, and giving the citizens of the state the help to get there, is a high priority so that we can cut the unemployment rate and continue to build Michigan’s economy. I don’t think, however, that this should come at the expense of funding for other higher-education options and opportunities, as Michigan’s economy is dynamic and we have some of the best universities in the country.

8. No. This question presumes that these regulations are inherently bad, or distasteful, or unnecessary. I cannot comment on the nature of new Michigan-only regulations before they’re proposed, and I cannot comment on them without knowing the specific circumstances that led to these regulations being proposed. I believe that these issues shouldn’t be restricted with legislation–and instead, a governmental or regulatory body should be allowed to adapt to new situations.

9. This is a tough question to answer. I support policies that make Michigan’s industries competitive around the country and around the world. According to your website, you’d like to benchmark the tax system and tax rates based on other states and other countries around the world. Certainly, we don’t want to make business taxes too onerous; however, benchmarking the taxes on the tax systems of other countries, even in the name of being competitive with countries like Chine, will probably work to our detriment if they’re allowed to drop too low. As it is, Michigan doesn’t have the funds to repair and maintain its own infrastructure (roads, bridges, pump stations, sewers,etc).

10. Yes, but we shouldn’t let price alone dictate what kinds of energy we pursue. We know that coal is an especially dirty energy, pumping several thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. I support science-based energy and climate policies; as such, I support switching over to renewable and green energy sources such as solar and wind power. It’s hard to find compromise here as more extreme and more numerous weather events are wreaking havoc across the country. This is a problem we all need to address; we have the technology to do so, and it might come with a slightly higher price tag, but these are problems that aren’t going to go away.

11. This policy provides incentives for businesses to increase their energy efficiency, which is funded by surcharges to ratepayers. I do not immediately see a problem with this policy, or a reason why it should be removed.

12. As I’ve said above, we need to institute sound, science-based policies that move us away from polluting fossil fuels like coal that are harming our environment. The evidence is clear on this: it poses a grave risk to public health in many ways, and I don’t feel that this is something that can be left to the free market alone. If it were simply a matter of picking the energy source that is the cheapest, the cost to the environment would be dear. Unfortunately, moving from the highly polluting energy sources to cleaner sources of energy will cost money.

Thank you for reading. If you have a comment, please post it in the comments section or send me an email at jderke2014@gmail.com

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