MiMfg Magazine September 2017 - Page 6

6 MiMfg Magazine September 2017 MMA Honors Pro-Manufacturing Legislators Thousands of pieces of legislation are drafted, introduced and debated every year; each one capable of impacting how you do business, where you do business and even if you do business at all. MMA’s strong relationships with elected officials are critical for every manufacturer to remain competitive and MMA is proud to honor four dedicated supporters of manufacturing with the association’s highest policy honor — the 2017 MMA Legislator of the Year Award. Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) Speaker Leonard has been a steadfast supporter of Michigan’s manufacturing industry, evidenced through his recognition of and commitment to addressing barriers to competitiveness. Of particular note, skyrocketing health care costs continue to present an impediment to economic growth and Speaker Leonard has courageously prevented action on legislation that would increase health care costs. Senator Hildenbrand is a champion for manufacturers and a leader in the elimination of the industrial Personal Property Tax (PPT) — a critical step toward ensuring a more competitive Michigan. In the last two years, he has led the charge to extend the filing date to ensure manufacturers could take full advantage of their portion of the $576 million annual savings. Q: What does Michigan manufacturing mean to you? Q: What does Michigan manufacturing mean to you? Speaker Leonard: Michigan’s manufacturing industry is one of the pillars of our economy, a defining part of our identity as a state and a key piece of our history. Michigan workers put the world on wheels, they served as the arsenal of democracy, and they were one of the last groups standing strong and keeping our state working during the recent recession. The story of Michigan manufacturing is the story of Michigan. That story will continue to be written into the future as Michigan manufacturers are helping lead the incredible economic growth currently taking place in this state and as we work on finding new ways to train the next generation for the jobs of the 21st Century economy. Michigan manufacturing’s continued success is already building a strong foundation for our state’s continued recovery. Q: What does it mean to be selected as a 2017 MMA Legislator of the Year? Speaker Leonard: I ran for office to help Michigan recover from the Lost Decade and create new opportunities for the hard-working people of this state. We have made great strides together growing Michigan’s economy, and we have much more success still to come. I am proud to work alongside an organization that shares these values and recognizes the hard work we do. I look forward to continuing to partner with Michigan manufacturers to build an even stronger economy and a brighter future for Michigan workers. Senator Hildenbrand: Michigan has a long and rich manufacturing history that we can all be proud of. Even before the automobile put us on the worldwide map as a center for manufacturing ingenuity and production, Michiganders worked hard to produce products from our vast natural resources. Manufacturing touches every aspect of our economy and provides many Michigan residents with good-paying jobs and a great livelihood. Without Michigan manufacturing we certainly would not be seeing the business successes and economic growth witnessed over the past several years. Q: What does it mean to be selected as a 2017 MMA Legislator of the Year? Senator Hildenbrand: It is truly an honor to be selected to receive the 2017 Legislator of the Year award. When I first came to Lansing 12 years ago, my priority was to ensure state government worked in a way that 7W'FV@B&FVB&fFR6V7F""w&wFBV6֖0FWfVVBvRfR6Rrv7&VFrvB'W6W72Vf&VBBVVBFVWW6pW"7FFRFBF&V7FvF&'W7BVf7GW&pGW7G'֖6vv6FVRF&Rw&VB6RFƗfRv&B&6Rf֖ǒ