Rep. Dave Prestin, R-Cedar River, released the following statement after Democrats cancelled legislative session for the rest of the year after losing their narrow House majority. The Legislature officially adjourned Tuesday, the earliest in over 40 years.
“Democrats just spent two weeks passing legislation that will wreak havoc across Michigan. Now, they’re tucking their tails, ignoring their duty to the voters, and running out of town. We are a full-time legislature. It’s been forty years since we’ve adjourned as early as Democrats did this week.
“Lansing is where elected officials come to make their constituents’ voices heard. Last week, Democrats sent a radical energy plan to the governor’s desk, and I’ve been hearing a lot about it. My district is especially concerned with this unpopular and dangerous solar siting legislation. Folks across the U.P. are outspoken opponents of stripping control from local government and handing it over to the MPSC. The people of the Upper Peninsula have grown to expect ‘peninsula over party’. Once again, they are left outraged that the U.P. delegation fractured to allow for the passage of this terrible legislation.
“The Democrat energy package makes our grid less reliable and less sustainable. The Upper Peninsula is reliant on natural gas for our baseload energy supply. This radical plan hamstrings power producers by forcing them to abandon natural gas and other options like biomass fuels. In its place, our districts will have to turn to ineffective wind and solar energy. This short-sighted and partisan package will be a nightmare for our largest industries, like timber and mining, who rely on affordable and reliable energy. This legislation will close plants, cut jobs, and leave families who don’t have a standby generator in the dark.
“A bad plan like this isn’t the end. I’m ready to have the difficult conversations with industry, labor and especially my colleagues. We need be to be leaders in making our energy grid reliable and affordable. But energy hardly scrapes the surface of the laundry list of topics Democrats ignored, including an incoming tax hike, school safety, crumbling infrastructure, first-responder shortages, and countless other urgent matters. Instead of working in Lansing to solve any of those problems, Democrats have their feet up at home sipping hot chocolate pondering how to best celebrate their short-sighted legislative wins.”
“A tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac is the optimal solution to safeguard the Great Lakes while ensuring vital energy products are continuously provided to residents in Upper and Lower Michigan, as well as communities nationwide,” wrote Prestin, R-Cedar River. “Propane plays an indispensable role in sustaining rural communities, which often lack the energy and sewer infrastructure present in more urbanized areas.”
“I voted no today because the speaker reneged on a promise he made last fall to pass bipartisan legislation in exchange for votes. The agreement happened, handshakes were made, and he has yet to fulfill his end of the bargain. The political games have to end. We are more than willing to work in a bipartisan fashion if Democrats end their blockade and agree to work collaboratively with us on the issues that matter most.”
“Seeing the bipartisan support behind our plan really emphasized the importance of backing EMTs and paramedics as they face critical staffing shortages across the board,” said Prestin, R-Cedar River. “Having served as a first responder for over a decade, I know the devasting impact that staffing shortages can have on medical first responders. Adequate medical resources are nearly non-existent around the state, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Our plan would begin addressing the issue by allowing EMTs and paramedics to continue training as they begin working and obtaining valuable on the job experience that will really benefit them as they work towards their full licensure.”