Local Government Chairman Focuses on Consistency and Less Regulation

BFAAM invited the Michigan House of Representatives Local Government Chairman, Jim Lower, to it’s 2018 Annual Conference to discuss the work of the committee and provide a legislative update. It was also an opportunity for attendees to hear his vision for the committee and share with the chairman concerns that we face as an industry.

“It’s time for us as a state to take a serious look at the way we organize, fund, and structure local government,” Lower said. “Our basic design of local government was laid nearly two centuries ago. The leaders of the past would expect us to bring our system of government into the 21st century. I consider it an honor, a privilege, and a huge responsibility to help ensure our local governments are successful as we move into the future.”

Representative Lower said one of his main goals as the committee chairman was the need for consistency from municipality to municipality in its regulatory structure. “My hope is that we can get municipalities to agree that there need to be some consistency in how they govern businesses. “We all know that each community is unique but there needs to be a guiding set of rules that are clear to our businesses in order them to prosper,” said Lower. “As a believer in small government, I want to see a favorable regulatory environment that doesn’t pick winners and losers and treats all residents and businesses fairly,” Lower added.

Lower also discussed the minimum wage proposal and mandatory paid sick leave proposals recently adopted by the legislature.  For those who are unfamiliar, the Michigan Legislature adopted two citizen proposals that were set to be on the November ballot.  These proposals will increase the minimum wage, eliminate the “tipped” employees minimum wage bringing them inline with all other Michigan employees and create a mandatory paid sick leave proposal statewide.

“These proposals were adopted with the intent to amend them and make them more palatable to the business community,” said Lower.  While it’s unclear what the final product will look like, there’s no doubt they’ll be the biggest legislative items considered prior to 2019 and will impact all businesses across our state.”