Donald Trump’s election unsettled many individuals. Lots of of hundreds of persons are protesting his presidency, appointees and insurance policies. And right here in Michigan, Republicans management the governor’s workplace and each chambers of the Michigan Legislature. If you end up within the political minority, take coronary heart.
There are a selection of proposals lawmakers might sort out that every one voters might help — concepts that might particularly profit Michigan’s neediest residents.
Listed here are 5 concepts to contemplate:
Eradicate boundaries to jobs: The very best anti-poverty program, by far, is an efficient job. Work supplies sources, sure, but it surely additionally offers an individual a larger sense of value, dignity and goal. Do you keep in mind your first job? Likelihood is it was powerful, low-paying and one thing you wouldn’t wish to do once more. However I guess you might be grateful for it and might recite many classes you realized within the function. Giving individuals a transparent path to a job is a noble and life-affirming job.
The State of Michigan requires a license for greater than 200 occupations, which impacts greater than 20% of employees. (Examine that to the minimal wage, which applies to just one% of employees.) Putting in wooden floors, laying concrete, portray a wall, siding a home — these all require permission from a authorities company. The state’s licenses are normally accompanied by excessive charges and dear coaching. The outcome? We stop individuals from acquiring significant work.
Enhance the state’s school-ranking system: In January, the Michigan Faculty Reform Workplace introduced that 38 academically struggling colleges might face closure after three straight years of low achievement. This announcement understandably ignited considerations.
Whereas accountability is critically vital, the way of evaluating colleges might be improved. The state’s High-to-Backside rating merely assesses colleges primarily based on common scholar take a look at scores. It fails to take scholar poverty under consideration. Because of this, colleges which can be demonstrating development despite socioeconomic hurdles will be unfairly penalized.
Promote prison justice reform: An efficient prison justice system achieves public security whereas maximizing sources. Michigan incarcerates greater than 43,000 individuals and spends $2 billion every year on corrections. Jail sentences and jail stays right here, which exceed nationwide averages in size, devour ever extra money. The state might enhance the way it collects and manages information to assist researchers and policymakers higher perceive rehabilitation, prisoner re-entry and recidivism; payments within the Senate will do that.
Michigan has three,100 prison statutes on the books. The Legislature might scale back the chance that you simply unwittingly commit a criminal offense by repealing outdated or duplicative legal guidelines.
In case you are suspected of a criminal offense, the police can confiscate your money and property with out an arrest or conviction. Lawmakers ought to shield particular person property rights by banning forfeiture with out the conviction of a criminal offense.
Give residents a tax minimize: Lawmakers ought to rethink a invoice that might roll again the private revenue tax. This is able to let taxpayers maintain their very own cash and do extra to spice up the economic system than the state’s pricey corporate-welfare giveaways. Households could make higher choices about learn how to spend their cash than lawmakers and bureaucrats who attempt to lure firms by way of subsidies, credit and focused tax cuts.
Shine the sunshine on authorities actions: One of many classes from the Flint water disaster is that open authorities is nice authorities. Michigan is the one state with a legislation that particularly exempts the governor from its Freedom of Info Act. The Legislature can also be exempt from FOIA. Because of this, paperwork and communication inside these branches of presidency usually are not accessible to the general public.
It’s time to increase FOIA’s necessities to the governor and the Legislature. Because the legislation explains: “The individuals shall learn in order that they might totally take part within the democratic course of.”
Casting a vote in a presidential election is a good privilege and proper, however one needn’t wait till 2020 to observe civic engagement. There are actual alternatives in 2017 to advertise and advance concepts to assist the individuals of Michigan.
Michael Reitz is the manager vp of the Mackinac Middle for Public Coverage in Midland.
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