Progress Michigan http://www.progressmichigan.org Uncompromised progressive politics for Michigan. Fri, 22 May 2015 20:41:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.6 Death to Progress! http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/death-to-progress/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/death-to-progress/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 20:41:53 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38349 By Brad O’Neil Legislation passed in the House of Representatives this week would essentially eliminate the ability of local government to hold businesses accountable for how they treat their employees and interact with communities. HB 4052, also known as the “Death Star Bill” due to its unprecedented reach and broad effect on local communities, has […]

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By Brad O’Neil

Legislation passed in the House of Representatives this week would essentially eliminate the ability of local government to hold businesses accountable for how they treat their employees and interact with communities. HB 4052, also known as the “Death Star Bill” due to its unprecedented reach and broad effect on local communities, has grown deeply unpopular with local governments and is out of step with the priorities of Michiganders. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans in the legislature, at the behest of corporate lobbyists, from continuing to move it forward.

The bill seeks to stop local government from passing new ordinances, as well as invalidate existing ones, that have to do with the relationship between employers and employees. In other words, local elected officials would be completely stripped of their ability to pass things like paid sick day guarantees, minimum wage increases or workplace protections. In fact, before being pressured to remove it, the bill included a provision that would have nullified nearly 40 anti-discrimination ordinances designed to protect LGBT citizens from employment discrimination.

But those are just the obvious problems with the bill – the language of this legislation is so broad that both its crafters and those it will ultimately affect can’t be fully aware of its future implications.

Republican lawmakers say employment policies should be standardized by the state, yet they aren’t doing anything to bring them into existence at the state level.

Michigan law doesn’t guarantee workers the ability to earn paid sick days, it doesn’t provide for a decent living wage, and it certainly doesn’t protect the LGBT community from employment discrimination. Thankfully, Michigan’s local governments have been filling the void.

When Republican lawmakers have refused to protect the rights of our LGBT community, local elected leaders have stepped up. When Republican lawmakers have refused to guarantee the ability to earn paid sick days, local elected leaders have stepped up. Local elected leaders have been doing the work Republicans in state government won’t and instead of contributing to that progress, corporate-backed conservatives are actively trying to erase it.

I would say that stifling progress seems to be the only thing that will elicit any effort from Republicans these days (the roads sure aren’t) but then I would be ignoring their true motivation.

Here’s a breakdown of the donations that the House Commerce and Trade Committee members, the committee that approved the bill before it went to a full House vote, received from corporate lobbyists that support the bill. In all, the 11 Republican lawmakers who voted for the bill in committee received at least $138,300 in corporate contributions.

It’s a sad state of affairs when Republican lawmakers place the interests of their corporate backers above those they claim to serve but we don’t have to put up with it.

Contact your state Senator today and tell them to do their job instead of punishing local elected officials for doing theirs!

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Not The Onion: Aramark Wants More Money Despite Sustained Incompetence http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/not-the-onion-aramark-wants-more-money-despite-sustained-incompetence/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/not-the-onion-aramark-wants-more-money-despite-sustained-incompetence/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 13:37:35 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38347 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan  May 22, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Not The Onion: Aramark Wants More Money Despite Sustained Incompetence Corporate greed has no shame MICHIGAN — Out-of-state prison food service provider Aramark is seeking more money and a contract renewal to serve food in Michigan prisons, according to a report in […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan 

May 22, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Not The Onion: Aramark Wants More Money Despite Sustained Incompetence

Corporate greed has no shame

MICHIGAN — Out-of-state prison food service provider Aramark is seeking more money and a contract renewal to serve food in Michigan prisons, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

“This is the epitome of corporate greed,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This company should have been fired over a year ago, but now they’re crawling back asking for more of our tax dollars? When I first read the news, I thought it was a joke, but there’s nothing funny about out-of-state corporations getting rich off of our tax dollars while they continually fail to do the job they were hired to do. The fact that the Snyder administration would even entertain this idea is further indication that this was never about saving the state money. We renew our call for Snyder to cancel this contract and end this charade once and for all.”

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Self-Congratulatory Schuette Should Investigate Entire Aramark Contract http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/self-congratulatory-schuette-should-investigate-entire-aramark-contract/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/self-congratulatory-schuette-should-investigate-entire-aramark-contract/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 19:59:21 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38342 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan May 20, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Self-Congratulatory Schuette Should Investigate Entire Aramark Contract Hundreds of fired employees, numerous food problems demand state’s attention MICHIGAN — In the wake of an investigation into an assault-for-hire plot involving a former Aramark employee, Progress Michigan is calling on Attorney General Bill […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

May 20, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Self-Congratulatory Schuette Should Investigate Entire Aramark Contract

Hundreds of fired employees, numerous food problems demand state’s attention

MICHIGAN — In the wake of an investigation into an assault-for-hire plot involving a former Aramark employee, Progress Michigan is calling on Attorney General Bill Schuette to launch a thorough investigation into all of Aramark’s dealings with the state.

Earlier today, Schuette announced that he was filing charges against a former Aramark employee at Kinross Correctional Facility who allegedly hired another inmate to assault a fellow inmate.

“Attorney General Schuette’s victory lap press release this morning about prosecuting a former Aramark worker is nothing more than a smokescreen for the fact that he has abdicated his responsibility to review this entire contract,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Our AG has completely failed to hold Aramark accountable. There have been hundreds of employees fired, drug smuggling, sexual contact with inmates and countless basic contract failures — if this contract in its entirety doesn’t receive the scrutiny of Schuette, then he’s ignoring the duties of his office.”

Schuette was quoted saying his investigation into the situation at Kinross was “thorough and exhaustive” and Progress Michigan believes the entire Aramark contract deserves the same treatment.

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House GOP Passes Death Star Bill, Obliterate Local Control http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/house-gop-passes-death-star-bill-obliterate-local-control/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/house-gop-passes-death-star-bill-obliterate-local-control/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 19:52:41 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38340 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan  May 20, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org House GOP Passes Death Star Bill, Obliterate Local Control The dark side would be proud of the Michigan GOP  LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding House passage of the Death Star bill, or HB4052: “It is apparent that the […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan 

May 20, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

House GOP Passes Death Star Bill, Obliterate Local Control

The dark side would be proud of the Michigan GOP 

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding House passage of the Death Star bill, or HB4052:

“It is apparent that the House Republicans don’t give a damn about local control, they only want total control,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This bill is a shameful attempt by corporate-sponsored elected officials to allow big business to profit off the backs of Michigan’s hardworking families.”

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Hypocrisy Alert: Representative Graves Praised ‘Local Control’ in Past; Tramples on it Tuesday http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/hypocrisy-alert-representative-graves-praised-local-control-in-past-tramples-on-it-tuesday/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/hypocrisy-alert-representative-graves-praised-local-control-in-past-tramples-on-it-tuesday/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 17:13:39 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38338 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan May 20, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Hypocrisy Alert: Representative Graves Praised ‘Local Control’ in Past; Tramples on it Tuesday Will Rep. Graves stand up for his values or his donors? LANSING — Today, Progress Michigan is pointing out the hypocrisy of Representative Joe Graves on local control. Yesterday, Rep. […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

May 20, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Hypocrisy Alert: Representative Graves Praised ‘Local Control’ in Past; Tramples on it Tuesday

Will Rep. Graves stand up for his values or his donors?

LANSING — Today, Progress Michigan is pointing out the hypocrisy of Representative Joe Graves on local control. Yesterday, Rep. Graves chaired a committee hearing that reported House Bill 4052, known as the Death Star bill, favorably. The bill is a far-reaching attempt to strip local communities of the ability to manage their own affairs by enacting local minimum wage laws, community benefits ordinances and paid sick leave laws. Representative Graves voted yes on the bill.

However, in 2013, Rep. Graves had a completely opposite opinion on local control. Graves sponsored House Bill 4147, a bill that would give local units of government more control of taxation issues. The bill was passed by the House but later died in the State Senate. Upon passage by the House, Rep. Graves was quoted praising the idea of local control.

“This is the height of hypocrisy. It seems that Rep. Graves believes in local control only when it’s cool with the business lobbyists who swirl around his office,” said Hugh Madden, communications director at Progress Michigan. “Today, Rep. Graves has a choice to make: will he vote no on the Death Star bill and stand with the people of Michigan and local governments as he has in the past or will he stand arm in arm with the lobbyists who fund his campaign coffers?”

Rep. Graves’ quote on passage of HB 4147 is below:

“No township is exactly the same as another, so providing them more control with their operations is common sense. State government doesn’t need to determine how each community pays for their police and fire services and that is why my legislation puts the decision back in the township’s hands for their residents.”

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Bought and Paid For: Conservatives Bend to the Will of Corporate Lobbyists http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/bought-and-paid-for-conservatives-bend-to-the-will-of-corporate-lobbyists/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/bought-and-paid-for-conservatives-bend-to-the-will-of-corporate-lobbyists/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 12:58:03 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38336 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan  May 19, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Bought and Paid For: Conservatives Bend to the Will of Corporate Lobbyists House committee members put interests of Wall Street over Main Street MICHIGAN — Today, 11 conservative lawmakers — who collectively received at least $138,300 from corporate lobbyists who supported the […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan 

May 19, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Bought and Paid For: Conservatives Bend to the Will of Corporate Lobbyists

House committee members put interests of Wall Street over Main Street

MICHIGAN — Today, 11 conservative lawmakers — who collectively received at least $138,300 from corporate lobbyists who supported the legislation — voted to annihilate local control by tying the hands of communities from having a say in how businesses treat their friends, family and neighbors.

The legislation, known as the Death Star Bill or HB4052, is an attack on workers, communities and democracy. The bill passed out of the House Commerce and Trade Committee by an 11-7 margin along party lines with GOP Rep. Mike Callton passing. Every elected official who voted yes on the bill received at least $1,000 from the corporate lobbyists who supported the legislation, with some representatives receiving over $20,000.

Donation totals on the committee are as follows: Joe Graves – $11,950; Jason Shepard – $6,000; Nancy Jenkins – $19,950; Joel Johnson – $11,000; Bruce Rendon – $23,950; Pat Sommerville – $16,450; Holly Hughes – $29,600; Tom Barrett – $13,750; Daniela Garcia – $1,000; Gary Glenn – $3,150; Eric Leutheuser – $1,500. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Earl Poleski, received $9,700 in contributions.

“Today’s vote was not about local control, rather, it was a statement about the corporate control of conservatives in our legislature,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Big business has it figured out: cut a check, come to committee, cash in a vote. It’s sad that these conservative representatives have sold out workers and the communities they represent for a corporate campaign donation.”

The bill is now before the full House for consideration.

Donations from organizations that support the bill include, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Restaurant Association, Small Business Association of Michigan, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Michigan Retailers Association, Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan, and ABC of Michigan PAC.

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Does Michigan Chamber Executive Committee Support Discrimination Against LGBT Employees? http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/does-michigan-chamber-executive-committee-support-discrimination-against-lgbt-employees/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/does-michigan-chamber-executive-committee-support-discrimination-against-lgbt-employees/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 19:23:16 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38321 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan May 14, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Does Michigan Chamber Executive Committee Support Discrimination Against LGBT Employees? Progress Michigan raises question in open letters to executive committee members LANSING – Today, Progress Michigan sent letters to each member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce 2015 Executive Committee inquiring whether […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

May 14, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Does Michigan Chamber Executive Committee Support Discrimination Against LGBT Employees?

Progress Michigan raises question in open letters to executive committee members

LANSING – Today, Progress Michigan sent letters to each member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce 2015 Executive Committee inquiring whether or not they support House Bill 4052, which could lead to discrimination against LGBT employees if passed.

“The Chamber as a whole has made it clear that they support this discriminatory bill, but do the executive committee members and the companies they represent stand with the organization?” asked Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “The public has a right to know whether or not these executives and their companies support discrimination against LGBT employees.”

The list of the executive committee members can be found here.

A new substitute to HB 4052 was introduced on Tuesday that would, among other changes, override the LGBT protections that currently exist in 38 municipalities in Michigan.

The letters can be viewed below.

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MI Chamber Executive Committee Letters by progressmichigan

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House Republicans Want to Repair Roads on the Backs of the Working Class http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/house-republicans-want-to-repair-roads-on-the-backs-of-the-working-class/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/house-republicans-want-to-repair-roads-on-the-backs-of-the-working-class/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 20:03:51 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38318 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan May 13, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org House Republicans Want to Repair Roads on the Backs of the Working Class Speaker Cotter’s plan punishes working families for Governor Snyder’s failed leadership on roads  LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s plan to […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

May 13, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

House Republicans Want to Repair Roads on the Backs of the Working Class

Speaker Cotter’s plan punishes working families for Governor Snyder’s failed leadership on roads 

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s plan to take money from working families without adequately funding Michigan’s roads. The plan calls for the elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit without asking for those at the top to pay their fair share.

“Voters soundly rejected Proposal 1 because they want corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share to fix the roads, Speaker Cotter’s proposal completely misses the mark and is yet another attack on Michigan’s working families,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “It’s a sad commentary that Speaker Cotter and GOP leadership didn’t have the guts to pass a simple road funding solution in December, but they have no issue punishing working families for their failure to lead. This plan is further proof that Speaker Cotter and House leadership would rather continue their ideological crusade to punish hard work than to actually work to move Michigan forward in a constructive manner.”

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Senate Committee Vote Punishes Children For Being Homeless, Hurts Families http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/senate-committee-vote-punishes-children-for-being-homeless-hurts-families/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/senate-committee-vote-punishes-children-for-being-homeless-hurts-families/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 19:29:15 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38316 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan May 13, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Senate Committee Vote Punishes Children For Being Homeless, Hurts Families Conservatives continue to wage war against Michigan’s most needy  LANSING — Today, a Senate Committee chose to ignore the struggles faced by homeless and displaced families by voting to strip them of […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

May 13, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Senate Committee Vote Punishes Children For Being Homeless, Hurts Families

Conservatives continue to wage war against Michigan’s most needy 

LANSING — Today, a Senate Committee chose to ignore the struggles faced by homeless and displaced families by voting to strip them of much-needed assistance if a child misses too much school. The bill could take food directly out of the mouths of Michigan’s neediest families.

The FIP program provides temporary assistance to pregnant women and families with children to help pay for the basic necessities, like rent, utilities and food.

“If conservatives in the legislature really wanted to improve school attendance, they’d remove the barriers that children face when trying to get to school, not taking the food right out of their mouths,” said Sam Inglot, communications specialist with Progress Michigan. “This is just another attack on needy families by conservatives in the legislature.”

Ensuring families have access to transportation, stable housing and affordable childcare would help prevent kids from missing school. Forcing a family to send a child to school hungry because they’re homeless won’t solve the problem.

“By codifying this policy into state law, conservative elected officials are giving no leeway for the Department of Health and Human Services to look at each case individually and make decisions that are in the best interest of the family,” Inglot continued. “Tying the hands of social service workers with a one-size-fits-all policy completely ignores the harsh realities that so many children in this state face.”

The bill now heads to the Senate floor where it must pass before going to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for signature.

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Progress Michigan Statement on Prevailing Wage Repeal Efforts http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/progress-michigan-statement-on-prevailing-wage-repeal-efforts/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/05/progress-michigan-statement-on-prevailing-wage-repeal-efforts/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 15:31:21 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38311 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan May 13, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Statement on Prevailing Wage Repeal Efforts LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the push to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law, which just this morning passed out of the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee. “Prevailing wage laws have been […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

May 13, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Statement on Prevailing Wage Repeal Efforts

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the push to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law, which just this morning passed out of the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee.

“Prevailing wage laws have been in place for 50 years because they protect workers’ wages. Only the conservatives in the state legislature could think the answer to economic recovery would be to lower working family wages,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Elected officials in Lansing need to ask themselves, where do these alleged cost savings in a repeal come from? They come directly from the pockets of Michigan’s hardworking families.”

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