You deserve more than photo-ops and empty promises. Responsible government begins by putting the needs of our community ahead of lobbyists and special interests, regardless of how much money they can donate. Politicians like Beth Griffin can talk a good game, but her votes are what really matter. Take at look at some of Beth Griffin’s votes, do they represent your values?
BETH GRIFFIN SAYS SHE SUPPORTS VETERANS
Beth Griffin Vote: Yes on HB5456
The Special Interest: The Michigan Chamber of Commerce
The Money: $13,500 lifetime from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce ($1,000 on 3/2/18)
From diagnosis, on average victims of mesothelioma only have 12-18 months life expectancy. Given the nature of their work, veterans and first responders are often exposed to hazards that places them at a significantly increased risk for asbestos related illness (over 30% of those afflicted are veterans).
“Delay, deny until they die”
It’s another example of politicians like Beth Griffin putting special interests first. She voted in favor of HB5456 which was opposed by both the American Legion and the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters. This bill was crafted to protect industry profits by making it more expensive and time-consuming for victims to get compensation, a tactic referred to as “delay, deny until they die.”
Sources: Bill Seeks to Strip Michigan Asbestos Victims of Justice | Critics say bill would “delay and deny” justice for asbestos cancer victims | Statement by Mid-Michigan Asbestos Disease Victims in Opposition to HB 5456 | In MI, a Battle between Veteran Asbestos Cancer Victims and the Asbestos Industry | Michigan Veterans File Opposition to Asbestos Bill
BETH GRIFFIN SAYS SHE FIGHTS FOR AUTO-INSURANCE REFORM
Beth Griffin Vote: Yes on HB5013
The Special Interest: The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Insurance Coalition, Automobile Club PAC
The Money: $13,500 since 2016 from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce
$1,500 since 2016 from the Michigan Insurance Coalition
$1,225 since 2016 from the Automobile Club PAC
The State House has only voted on one auto insurance reform bill in the last 2 years. HB5013 provided no guarantee of long term rate decreases but did offer drivers reduced coverage while strengthening the legal powers of the insurance industry.
A major issue with the bill was that it shifted costs from insurance companies to taxpayers. The House Fiscal Agency report stated it “would reduce state revenues and create increased costs for Medicaid and public retirement systems.” These costs have been estimated between $80 and $150 million per year.
As an example of how poorly it was written, it also set Michigan up to become the only state where negligent drivers (drunk, reckless, etc.) would be immune from being sued for unpaid medical expenses.
Michigan urgently needs real Auto-Insurance reform that actually addresses the reasons behind our high rates and HB5013 didn’t accomplish that. Fortunately for Michigan taxpayers, it was defeated 45-63 despite Beth Griffin voting for it.
Sources: MI House Fiscal Agency Legislative Analysis | The Top Five Things Mike Duggan and Tom Leonard Don’t Want You to Know about their Auto Insurance Bill | How Michigan’s auto insurance premiums became the nation’s highest
BETH GRIFFIN SAYS SHE IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE
Beth Griffin Vote: Yes on SB111-115
Beth Griffin Vote: Yes on SB242-244
After more than $150,000 in lobbying in 2017, billionaire Dan Gilbert (the wealthiest person in Michigan) secured passage of SB111-115. Gilbert sought these bills, offering up to $1 billion in tax credits to developers, as part of his plan to redevelop the Hudson store site in Detroit which is projected to create few, if any, permanent jobs.
Later in 2017, Michigan passed SB242-244 which was written to let Taiwan-based Foxconn keep up to $200 million worth of income taxes paid by its employees. In total Michigan offered Foxconn a total of $3.8 billion of “incentives”.
In less than 2 years in office, Beth Griffin voted for more than $1.2 billion in corporate handouts. That’s money that could have been spent on schools or roads or investing in our communities.
Sources: Business Subsidy Scorecard | Michigan spends big on “corporate welfare,” but details are kept from the public | How Dan Gilbert just scored up to $1 billion in taxpayer money — and few noticed | Amid Push For Tax Incentives, Quicken Loans Boosted Lobbying Efforts | New Corporate Welfare Proposal is Unfair
BETH GRIFFIN SAYS SHE SUPPORTS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Beth Griffin Vote: Yes on SB574
The Special Interest:
- The DeVos family (billionaire charter school advocates)
- Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP receives funding from the DeVos family)
- $9,000 since 2016 from the DeVos family
- $750 since 2016 in direct contributions from GLEP
- $10,912.25 since 2016 in campaign spending by GLEP
Under Michigan law, voters can approve a local property tax Regional Enhancement Millage of up to 3 mills for their intermediate school districts. This funding goes to local school district general operating funds and was intended to give communities an option to supplement school funding from the state.
In 2018 the Michigan legislature approved SB574 which allows charter schools (80% are run by for-profit businesses) access to these voter-approved funds. By redirecting crucial dollars from traditional public schools to for-profit charter schools, these bills allow millions of tax dollars to go to executive compensation and shareholder dividends.
It’s not about fairness, because traditional public schools have additional required expenses compared to charter schools, such as transportation and special education.
Keep in mind that due to Michigan’s lax oversight of charter schools, they have
- No legal responsibility to spend funding to educate children
- No public accountability or transparency of how tax dollars are spent
- A fiduciary responsibility to maximize return to their shareholders
Sources: Millage money for charter schools legislation passes in state House | Michigan Senate OKs bill giving charter schools more public money | Report: For-profit run charter schools perform worse | Michigan charter schools spend more on administration, less on instruction, study finds | 80% of Michigan Charter Schools are For-Profits
BETH GRIFFIN SAYS SHE SUPPORTS ACCOUNTABILITY
Beth Griffin Vote: Yes on SB652-653
The Special Interests: The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, DTE Energy, CMS Energy
- $13,500 since 2016 from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce ($2,500 on 6/11/18)
- $10,500 since 2016 from DTE Energy ($2200 on 6/11/18)
- $4,500 since 2016 from Consumers Energy ($1,000 on 6/9/18)
Whether it’s Enbridge Energy spilling 1,000,000 gallons of oil in the Kalamazoo River or Parchment dealing with an abandoned paper mill contaminating their drinking water, the need for environmental oversight is apparent. Yet in 2018 the Michigan legislature voted to approve SB652-653. These bills create oversight panels with final say over permits and standards at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Members of these panels aren’t required to even live in Michigan and aren’t elected, but rather appointed by the Governor. Even worse, SB652 specifically allows active lobbyists to serve on the Environmental Rules Review Committee.
By allowing industry stakeholders and lobbyists to have the final say over the MDEQ, we are letting the polluters regulate themselves. The MDEQ already approved 99.5% of permits in 2017, but apparently that’s still not enough.
Sources: Can Michigan’s polluters be trusted to self-regulate? | Businesses leaders, health professionals, concerned citizens urge Gov. Snyder to veto DEQ oversight legislation | Fox meet henhouse ‒ what happens if industry runs Michigan DEQ | MI House Fiscal Agency Legislative Analysis