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Governor tries to salvage biz tax breaks, meets with House speaker

user cedarbenddrive

The state House meets tomorrow, and Governor Rick Snyder hopes lawmakers will vote on a controversial set of business incentives.

Governor Snyder is trying to salvage an incentive deal that he says could mean thousands of jobs for Michigan. He met Tuesday with state House Speaker Tom Leonard and several other Republican House members.

This is the first face-to-face meeting between Snyder and Leonard since the Speaker abruptly canceled a vote on the incentive three weeks ago.

Leonard says he wants answers on whether the governor made a deal to block anti-labor bills backed by many GOP lawmakers.

But Governor Snyder says he thinks working with Democrats is a good thing.

“I would love to see this be bi-partisan so we’re talking to people on both sides of the aisle trying to get people to understand the benefits of this bill and how it’s good for Michiganders,” he said. 

Detroit Democrats also met with the governor to discuss the package.

Leonard said there’s no deal yet – even though the House meets again Wednesday.

“We had a very constructive conversation,” he said. “I plan to convey information to my caucus tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

Governor Snyder says the House needs to move on quickly on the legislation.

“There are companies out there that are making decisions this summertime,” he said. “July-August kind of timeframe. And it’s important that we potentially have this as a tool in our tool kit.”

The House released its agenda and the bills are on it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Leonard will put them up on the board for a vote.

If passed, the bills would let businesses that are approved for the deal to keep all or part of the state income taxes their employees would pay. The criteria includes creating hundreds or thousands of jobs that pay average or above-average wages.

To learn more about the bills, see SB 0242, SB 0243, and SB 244

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R