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State of the State Statement from Small Business Association of Michigan

January 30, 2020

Following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address, SBAM President Brian Calley issued the following statement:

“Borrowing to fix roads is the worst kind of shell game. A generational shell game where our kids get screwed. This is exactly the way we got into this mess in the first place. It’s not a solution, it just transfers the problem to the next Governor who will grapple with bad roads in addition to an extraordinarily high amount of new long term debt.

“In fact, the proposed problem (incorrectly labeled as a solution) will diminish the ability of the next 3 to 5 Governors to “fix the damn roads.” The last time the state went on a borrowing spree for roads, it only maintained good roads for four years. And then we experienced a rapid deterioration because the loan payments came due and not enough money was left over for maintenance. With this level of borrowing it will be far worse.

“It’s way too early for the Governor to be waving the white flag on a real road solution. If she goes through with this, it virtually guarantees a very bad future for our roads and bridges and eliminates any real chance of a permanent fix while she is in office. Instead of “fix the damn roads,” it is now “let the next damn Governor figure it out.

“Alternatively, SBAM does support Governor Whitmer’s efforts to make high-quality, affordable childcare more accessible for Michiganders. We consistently hear from small businesses, which make up 70 percent of the employment in our state, that lack of childcare is a barrier to people entering the workforce. We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to this important issue and look forward to working with her team on her proposal and additional solutions to expand access to high quality, affordable daycare.

“Lastly, SBAM continues to support expanded community college access as a scaled response to filling the talent shortages in the workforce. Passage of Reconnect should be coupled with restoration of Going Pro. This should be an area where a bipartisan deal can be reached.”

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