Local Michigan Democratic Representatives launched their vision to strengthen the state's future at a press conference on campus Jan. 22.
State Representatives Lee Gonzales, (D-Flint Township), Brenda Clack (D-Flint), Ted Hammon (D-Burton) and Richard Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township) announced the Michigan House majority's plan to tackle the state's challenges head-on and move it in a positive direction. The announcement of the plan was made in the Flint-area in the Fuel Cell Center at Kettering University.
The plan includes reducing health care costs, expanding educational opportunities and new policies designed to attract investments in 21st century jobs for the state. "Our plan is to invest in Michigan by investing in our citizens," said Clack.
In announcements at various sites throughout the state, Democrats laid out their vision in a six-point plan for the House, which they control 58-52. The plan includes:
- Fight the skyrocketing cost of health care through such methods as a statewide catastrophic health care pool and health care for uninsured workers,
- Strengthen school and open the doors of educational opportunities for all citizens by reforming education and continuing the Michigan Promise scholarship program,
- Address Michigan's energy needs by promoting alternative energy development and conservation,
- Protect Michigan's Great Lakes and fight Canadian and other out-of-state trash by stopping corporate use of our fresh water resources and curbing trash trade,
- Strengthen consumer protections by tackling redlining by insurance companies, tax pop-ups and security breaches of consumer information, and
- Restore integrity to the House by banning public officials from lobbying for one year after leaving office, requiring personal finance disclosures and banning lawmakers from getting state grants.
Dr. Joel Berry, academic department head for Mechanical Engineering at Kettering, said the university is part of the alternative energy solution for the economic development of Michigan.
Citing activities going on in the Fuel Cell Center alone, such as pre-college summer workshops for middle and high school students, a high tech commercial incubator on campus, a new graduate program for displaced auto industry workers and educational workshops for high school math and science teachers, Berry highlighted Kettering's involvement in economic and educational development.