Legislative Chat Series: A Conversation with Senator Nesbitt

This month, The West Michigan Policy Forum (WMPF) hosted a conversation with Michigan State Senator and Senate President Pro Tempore Aric Nesbitt. Senator Nesbitt lives in Lawton, MI and represents Michigan’s 26th Senate District, which includes Allegan and Van Buren Counties, Gaines Township, and the city of Kentwood.

Senator Nesbitt kicked off the conversation by recognizing the investments business owners make to keep Michiganders at work. As the Vice-Chair of the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, Senator Nesbitt has been focused on how to keep Michiganders safe and keep the economy running. This includes removing barriers for businesses to keep Michiganders working.

At the WMPF we are focused on ensuring the one-time federal dollars that the state government is directing go to long-term investments that benefit future generations. Senator Nesbitt championed a number of the recent budget decisions, including paying down $2.2 billion in unfunded liabilities, which includes $750 million to fulfill pension promises to Michigan retirees. He agrees it’s important to make long-term plans that don’t pick winners and losers. This connects to another area of focus, long-term, transformational tax reform. Senator Nesbitt said it “takes guts from both sides to make something that’s going to be long-term transformational.” He specifically is working on the issues of making the tax code and regulations more competitive.

Through the discussion with members from WMPF, Senator Nesbitt highlighted his work pushing regulators, including pushing the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to grant permits. He heard from leaders on the call and hears regularly from constituents, who are tied-up in red-tape and can’t get their pro-growth job-creating businesses off the ground. This overly aggressive regulation needs to stop if we’re going to be able to drive Michigan forward.

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