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Keynote Conversation with MMA's Mike Johnston

This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Q: Why is it important for manufacturers to become manufacturing voters in November?

Johnston: There are nearly 3,000 registered lobbyists in Michigan and nearly every one of them has an agenda conflicting with the needs of manufacturers. The best defense against those advocating opposing policies is to encourage the election of pro-manufacturing policymakers. They can help guard against higher health care costs, increased regulatory burdens, increased taxes and fees and other barriers to your competitiveness.

Recently, through MMA’s ability to work with pro-manufacturing legislators, manufacturers will benefit from some significant policy achievements, including:

  • Reduced health care costs resulting from the elimination of Michigan’s Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) tax, an annual savings of $272.5 million
  • Accelerated development of career and technical education programs in Michigan’s K-12 system through Governor Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent, a $100 million, multi-year funding effort
  • Greater commitment to skilled trades training by ensuring the Going Pro Talent Fund, formerly the Skilled Trades Training Fund, will continue to support the development of next generation talent, an effort which has already leveraged nearly $1 billion in total talent funds
  • The elimination of over 2,300 anti-competitive rules and regulatory barriers through the Office of Performance and Transformation

Thanks to Governor Snyder, Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and other legislative leaders advocating in support of pro-manufacturing policies, Michigan has been able to develop a business climate attractive to job creation and investment while competing effectively in the global economy.

Q: How can employers quickly learn how the November elections could impact their company’s long-term competitiveness?

Johnston: MMA provides several ways to prepare you for your role in determining the state’s legislative direction this fall.

On Wednesday, 9/5/18, members can join us in Lansing for MMA Legislative Day. This two-in-one event informs you about important issues, connects you with elected officials and helps you become a lobbyist for a day at the Capitol. You’ll end the day with our annual evening Legislative Reception where you can continue to network with manufacturing champions and help award the 2018 MMA Legislators of the Year.

I also encourage all manufacturers to go to MMA’s website and locate an MMA Ballots & Brews regional meeting happening nearby. This series of events will crisscross Michigan at some of the state’s best-known local breweries. In addition to non-stop networking, attendees of every event will hear from successful area employers and receive can’t-miss information on ballot initiatives and legislative issues.

Finally, the MMA Election Center

With so much content at your fingertips, the MMA should be your go-to resource for all election and policy information.

About this Month's Keynote

Mike JohnstonMike has been with MMA since 1999 and currently serves as vice president of government affairs. He may be reached at 517-487-8554 or johnston@mimfg.org.

This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Q: Why is it important for manufacturers to become manufacturing voters in November?

Johnston: There are nearly 3,000 registered lobbyists in Michigan and nearly every one of them has an agenda conflicting with the needs of manufacturers. The best defense against those advocating opposing policies is to encourage the election of pro-manufacturing policymakers. They can help guard against higher health care costs, increased regulatory burdens, increased taxes and fees and other barriers to your competitiveness.

Recently, through MMA’s ability to work with pro-manufacturing legislators, manufacturers will benefit from some significant policy achievements, including:

  • Reduced health care costs resulting from the elimination of Michigan’s Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) tax, an annual savings of $272.5 million
  • Accelerated development of career and technical education programs in Michigan’s K-12 system through Governor Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent, a $100 million, multi-year funding effort
  • Greater commitment to skilled trades training by ensuring the Going Pro Talent Fund, formerly the Skilled Trades Training Fund, will continue to support the development of next generation talent, an effort which has already leveraged nearly $1 billion in total talent funds
  • The elimination of over 2,300 anti-competitive rules and regulatory barriers through the Office of Performance and Transformation

Thanks to Governor Snyder, Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and other legislative leaders advocating in support of pro-manufacturing policies, Michigan has been able to develop a business climate attractive to job creation and investment while competing effectively in the global economy.

Q: How can employers quickly learn how the November elections could impact their company’s long-term competitiveness?

Johnston: MMA provides several ways to prepare you for your role in determining the state’s legislative direction this fall.

On Wednesday, 9/5/18, members can join us in Lansing for MMA Legislative Day. This two-in-one event informs you about important issues, connects you with elected officials and helps you become a lobbyist for a day at the Capitol. You’ll end the day with our annual evening Legislative Reception where you can continue to network with manufacturing champions and help award the 2018 MMA Legislators of the Year.

I also encourage all manufacturers to go to MMA’s website and locate an MMA Ballots & Brews regional meeting happening nearby. This series of events will crisscross Michigan at some of the state’s best-known local breweries. In addition to non-stop networking, attendees of every event will hear from successful area employers and receive can’t-miss information on ballot initiatives and legislative issues.

Finally, the MMA Election Center

With so much content at your fingertips, the MMA should be your go-to resource for all election and policy information.

About this Month's Keynote

Mike JohnstonMike has been with MMA since 1999 and currently serves as vice president of government affairs. He may be reached at 517-487-8554 or johnston@mimfg.org.
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