Michigan Senate Democrats Pass Bill Improving Energy, Environment, And Paychecks!

To paraphrase something Michigan Democratic state Rep. Kelly Breen said, Democrats in the Lansing are proving more often than not to be the adults in the room.

This happened last week, but I wanted to highlight here for everyone so you can understand what I’m saying.

Michigan Advance’s Jon King reported the following:

Michigan Senate Democrats pushed through an expansion of the state’s prevailing wage law Wednesday that would apply to renewable energy projects.

Senate Bill 571, introduced by state Sen. John Cherry (D-Flint), would require solar, wind, and energy storage projects of two megawatts or more to pay a prevailing wage, which mandates union-level compensation.

It would also require registration of contractors and subcontractors working on state prevailing wage projects and require contractors on those projects to submit certified payroll to the state.

This is demonstrating both how the Senate majority is planning for the clean energy future this state desperately needs to grasp, but is also helping strengthen the economic well-being of our workers who’ll play a key part in developing our clean energy future.

Naturally, Republican Senator Thomas Albert of Lowell used the same, tired arguments that expanding the prevailing wage law for clean energy projects “artificially” raise costs for wind and solar energy.

But as Democratic Senator John Cherry of Flint, and sponsor of the bill, replied:

“I’d like to harken back [to] when we included prevailing wage in our laws that we passed in the fall for our clean energy projects,” said Cherry. “Part of the reasoning behind that is because we understand that when we do work using trained well-paid workers, it’s cheaper than doing the same work twice with untrained poorly paid workers.”

Albert and his fellow Republicans remained unconvinced and said a line had been crossed with dire consequences as a result.

Despite evidence showing the contrary, you’re telling me Michigan Republicans still voted against the workers?

You know better.

Of course, they did!

And let’s not forget how they weren’t all for the slew of clean energy bills Democrats passed last year. They had 40 years to do something, but refused to act as our infrastructure crumbled and our environment and energy needs suffered.

Not only that, but the state suffered financially. Families suffered.

Democrats are trying to ensure a fair wage is paid to those who do the work to improve our state, and to help make our state a more welcoming place.

Once again, Republicans had another chance to show they’re for the working people in this state.

Once again, they failed.


Photo: Breckenridge Wind Turbines. Photo By Pat Johnston

Share this!