Local job providers travel to Lansing to testify in favor of Foster legislation

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State Rep. Frank Foster, center, talks with Todd Callewaert, at left, and George Smolak, before today’s House Commerce Committee meeting. Callewaert and Smolak testified in support of legislation sponsored by Foster.

Todd Callewaert, president of Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island, and George Smolak, owner of Legs Inn in Cross Village, traveled to Lansing today to testify in support of legislation introduced by Rep. Frank Foster to help strengthen the state’s economy.

Foster invited the two small-business leaders to the House Commerce Committee to discuss House Bill 4958, which mirrors federal standards and other Midwest states by waiving the requirement for employers to pay unemployment insurance taxes on employees working under visas.

“I was honored to have two local job providers come to Lansing to discuss the benefits of this important legislation,” said Foster, R-Petoskey.  “State lawmakers need to hear perspectives from people who are directly impacted by laws that can deter economic development and job creation in Michigan.”

Foster said it doesn’t make sense to require Michigan employers to pay unemployment insurance for non-resident employees because they are required to leave the country shortly after their employment is over.

“As Michigan competes at a national level for jobs, businesses and the emerging 21st century economy, we must continue to identify and eliminate the bureaucratic red tape that makes us unique among our peers,” said Foster, chair of the House Commerce Committee.  “This is one more step to make Michigan a competitive and attractive place to do business.”

Committee members today heard testimony only on HB 4958.