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February 8th, 2012
In a Michael Jackson music video, or an episode of Soul Train, Michigan governor Rick Snyder and Indiana’s Mitch Daniels might challenge each other to a dance off over Right to Work.
Instead, we have Snyder’s latest interview, in which he says Indiana ought to be worrying more about Michigan’s comeback.
Some context: Indiana and Michigan have been competing for years to land factories and convince businesses to locate in each state.
One of the biggest reasons why Snyder sought reform of Michigan’s business taxes in 2011 was so that the state could be on a more level playing field. It didn’t help that Indiana won a corporate headquarters formerly located in Michigan right after the state’s tax package was signed.
Now, Daniels has upped the ante by signing Right to Work legislation, which prevents unions from charging mandatory dues even if they represent a workforce. Many experts have said Michigan could be the next state to get such a law.
But Daniels, in an interview with Stateline.org, continues to oppose Right to Work for Michigan — and gives his neighboring state an elbow.
Asked if he’s worried about the new Indiana law, Snyder replies,
“If anything, Indiana was probably getting more concerned that Michigan’s back. We’re doing a lot of good things for our employers, with workers comp reform, unemployment insurance reform, having a balanced budget, education reform.”
Snyder goes on to say that he’d like everyone in the region to get along. “I think a lot of the Midwest should all want to come back together, so that it’s not one state versus another state. In many respects, the Midwest was treated as flyover territory and we’re a great place to be, for quality of life and everything else.”
As for the Right to Work fight, the Michigan governor says, “…I view it as a divisive issue. If you look at what’s gone on in the states, you have to ask the question, now what’s going to get done in Indiana for the next year or two? The fight isn’t truly over. It creates an environment where people are not working together.”
Read the Stateline.org interview with Snyder here. And enjoy some classic Jackson moves.