House Dem Bills Aim to Support Michigan Workers in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic
LANSING, Mich., June 18, 2020 — State Reps. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown), Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn), Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) and Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) introduced a comprehensive package of bills this week to support Michigan workers by addressing income inequality, increasing corporate transparency, providing a living wage for employees and capping inflated executive salaries for businesses that receive state or federal support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state of Michigan has announced it faces an expected total budget shortfall of $6.2 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year and next, resulting from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Without taking immediate action, significant and difficult spending cuts for essential departments like education, and health and human services may cause serious, long-lasting harm to Michigan residents.
“There’s no doubt we’ll be facing budget shortfalls in the years ahead, while our state continues to give away millions of dollars in tax cuts for some of our largest corporations,” said Camilleri. “Especially given the circumstances, now is the time to right the wrongs of decades of corporate giveaways and put that money back into our schools and communities.”
Additionally, this package of bills would address a potential overlap in state incentives and federal funds for large businesses and corporations by ensuring companies receiving taxpayer dollars provide direct support to their employees.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose the many and extensive shortfalls of an economy that was not intended to support everyone,” said Hammoud. “We must prioritize changing this status quo for the people of our state by holding those that receive our tax dollars accountable and ensuring it goes to workers, not to further pad the salaries of executives at the top.”
The package would require businesses receiving taxpayer support through the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to:
- HB 5867: Pay their employees a living wage of $15/hour (not applicable to businesses with 50 or fewer employees and/or less than $1 million received from the MSF)
- HB 5871: Cap their executive salaries to a limit of 100 times that of their lowest paid employee (not applicable to businesses with 50 or fewer employees and/or less than $1 million received from the MSF)
- HB 5870: Increase transparency by disclosing executive salaries and median employee pay to the Michigan Department of Treasury, to be posted and publicly available on the Treasury’s website
- HB 5869: Require the disclosure of initial and remaining amounts of credits received, and make that data available on the Treasury’s website
For companies in Michigan with more than 50 employees or received more than $1 million in federal stimulus funds related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bills would also require them to: