LANSING – In response to the Indiana Senate’s approval of right-to-work legislation, which is expected to be signed by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels later today, Michigan Sen. John Proos issued the following statement:
“Now that one of our neighbors has taken the step to become the first state in the Great Lakes region with a right-to-work law, it is even more important that Michigan removes barriers to competition and looks at right-to-work.
“Michigan has lost more than half of its auto industry jobs since 2002, and many of those jobs went to right-to-work states.
“The idea of right-to-work is founded in the constitutional right of freedom of association and the American ideal of the free market. This reform would allow Michigan to explore the possible benefits of freedom-to-work, while placing economic development decisions in the hands of those who will be affected most – our local communities.”
A September 2010 study by Grand Valley State University economist Hari Singh looked at data from both sides of the issue. His conclusion was that if Michigan had adopted right-to-work status in 1965, the state today would have up to 60,000 more automobile industry jobs.
In Feb. 2011, Proos introduced Senate Bill 120, which would allow right-to-work zones to be established by two means: either by approval of a measure by a local governing body, or by adoption of a measure initiated by the people residing within a county or municipality. SB 120 has been referred to the Senate Economic Development Committee for consideration.
“This approach will help us stay competitive with Indiana in attracting new investment and jobs and give us an advantage over the rest of the states in the region,” Proos added.