Michigan Poised to Block Local Governments from Regulating Businesses


The state of Michigan was hit tremendously hard by the 2008 banking crisis. The near collapse of two major automakers left the once vibrant city of Detroit with tens of thousands of vacant homes. Despite the recovery, it has been difficult for the state’s chamber of commerce to entice businesses to relocate to the state. In part, Blog.NJ.com suggests this is because local governments have the right to impose mandates on businesses which can affect their bottom lines and profitability. For instance, local municipalities can impose minimum wages of their own. They may also mandate employers offer paid leave.

That will likely be changing with the GOP-dominated legislature. A bill is working its way through the legislative branch that would consolidate regulatory power of businesses at the state government. Opponents have invoked a pejorative of “Death Star” as the nickname for the bill. This is a throw-back to the evil interstellar battle station from the late 70s science fiction classic “Star Wars”. That said, it appears the GOP is undaunted by Democrat efforts to cast their actions as being destructive of freedom. The GOP has a platform of smaller government. Opponents of the bill also claim Republicans are being hypocritical by taking control from smaller local governments and consolidating in the larger state government. The state of Missouri has taken the lead by passing a similar measure. The state’s Democratic governor has yet to signal whether he will sign the bill into law.