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Michigan Representative District 37

Choose one candidate. Representatives in the Michigan State House serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $71,685.

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  • Candidate picture

    Christine Greig
    (Dem)

  • Mitch Swoboda
    (Rep)

  • James K. Young
    (L)

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Biographical Information

How should the state assist other municipalities and school districts whose solvency is threatened by its financial obligations to current and future retirees?

Is the way the state funds our cities adequate to ensure safety and service delivery? If not, what changes would you support to our municipal finance model?

When cities are struggling, what is the appropriate way for the state to intervene? Should state intervention – through the emergency manager law or some other avenue – come with dollars attached? Why or why not?

How would you rate the state’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the state’s response.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the federal government’s response.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Do you believe Michigan’s tax system is generally fair? If not, what changes do you support?

Would you support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission that would have authority to site, open and close traditional public and charter schools?

What changes, if any, would you support in the way Michigan authorizes and regulates charter schools?

Do you favor amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

Do you support state-level laws modeled on the federal Restoration of Religious Freedom Act?

Have you signed any public pledge to support or oppose any organization’s public policy objectives, such as outlawing abortion or barring any increase in taxes?

Do you support legislation to minimize or eliminate the influence of political parties on drawing lines for legislative districts?

Do you support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Do you support the renewal and/or expansion of renewable energy mandates for Michigan energy producers?

Do we incarcerate too many people in Michigan? What would you change in the criminal justice system?

City of residence Farmington Hills
Age 53
Family Husband Bob Sons Alex (24), Andy (22), Bill (19)
Education BA, American Studies and Computer Applications, University of Notre Dame 1985
Vehicles owned Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Chevy Colorado
Professional Experience Manager, Andersen Consulting (Accenture) HRIS Manager, Kmart Corporation Project Manager, Fulcrum Computer Services Executive Director, Farmington/ Farmington Hills Education Foundation
Political Experience Incumbent, District 37
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? true
The current MPSERS system for funding public school employee pensions contains an unfunded liability, forcing districts to pay additional funds out of their foundation allowance (operating budget). Currently, the liability burden is capped so districts only have to pay up to a certain amount and the state pays the rest. The state could assist schools by assuming the entire unfunded liability burden. This would end the current system whereby districts receive funding through their foundation allowance only to return that money to the state. It would also end the (often quite large) funding disparity between public schools and charter schools which don't pay into the MPSERS program.
Currently cities are not receiving adequate funding from the state. Underfunding of the statutory revenue sharing sharing program and severe property tax restrictions have combined to create a significant shortfall in municipal funding. The state can remedy this by fully funding the revenue sharing program and easing restrictions on property tax revenue. I also support revising Headlee Amendment restrictions on millage increases. In Farmington Hills for example, it will take until 2025 to get back to pre-recession levels after the dramatic drop in home values in 2008. The drop only took a few years; it shouldn't take decades to recover.
We need a more collaborative approach to solving financial crisis, and we need to fix failed policies that created many of these crises. The current EM law has proven largely ineffective and must be redesigned or eliminated. State intervention should never come in the form of takeovers or unfunded mandates that force already struggling municipalities & schools to cut critical programs and services. If the state is responsible for the debt (DPS), then there will justifiably be state funding attached. In the Pontiac School District, Oakland Schools worked with Pontiac and the State Treasurer to carryout a process that did not require state dollars. This is the better model.
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The state was slow to respond to Flint. Concerns about the water were reported almost immediately after the switch from the DWSD system to the Flint River, but the crisis was not officially recognized until Oct 2015; a state of emergency was not declared until Jan 2016. Since that time, the state's response has been tepid. Distribution of water filters has been slow, inadequate and, in some places, even nonexistent. To remedy this, the state could set up sites to distribute clean water from tankers. Additionally, the state should reimburse residents' water bills during the time the safety of the water remains in question. We must also pass the water quality bills introduced this session.
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While the EPA has stepped up to provide various remedies to the crisis, more assistance is needed. The federal government could also contribute more funds for repairs and updates to Flint's water infrastructure. Additionally, the EPA should consider raising testing standards and reducing actionable lead levels to ensure a crisis like this doesn't happen again.
No
No
No, the tax burden has shifted greatly to individuals under the Snyder administration. When our residents have more disposable income, they purchase goods and services that stimulate and grow the economy. Consumers are the real job creators. We are not adequately funding state obligations including infrastructure, public transportation, public education and municipal finance - important items to attract and retain business and talent. We must consider a graduated income tax, increasing the corporate tax, expanding the tax base for sales tax and a better way to fund roads. I advocate for a more balanced approach based on what will adequately fund the state's needs.
Absolutely. My only concern is that this approach is needed statewide. We need a Certificate of Need model for all schools in Michigan. If we limit this function to Detroit only, unaccountable for-profit charters will simply pack their bags and move on to other areas of the state.
Hold authorizers accountable by specifying how the 3% will be used - to support quality education in the schools they authorize, annual performance reporting, holding public hearings in the community in which they want to charter and presenting the reasons for opening the charter and how they will be accountable for student success. We must implement a Certificate of Need model for all schools. Charters and their management companies must be held to the same standards as traditional public schools including being accountable to the local community, reporting all financial operations funded by tax dollars, and serving all students.
Yes, for both orientation and identity.
No., They may be based on the Federal RFRA, but they have used much broader language that promotes discrimination.
No.
Yes, we need an independent commission to draw our State and Federal legislative districts.
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Yes. We need the Senate to pass presumptive parole, juvenile justice reform, zero tolerance reform legislation introduced and passed by the House this session. We need to improve our mental health services to stop the revolving door between prisons and hospitals. Decriminalizing recreational marijuana will also reduce the number.
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City of residence Farmington Hills, MI
Age 61
Family Single
Education B.S. Chemical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, May 2005 A.S Chemical Technology, Lawrence Tech. University, Southfield, MI, June 1987 B.S. Business Management, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI May 1984
Vehicles owned 2015 Ford Focus
Professional Experience Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, MI Glass Bonding Technician in R&D, 9 years Witco Allied-Kelite, Highland Park, MI, Quality Control Chemical Technician, 6 years
Political Experience I have run for political office as a Libertarian candidate in the following offices: Michigan House District 26, Michigan Senate District 11 and Michigan House District 37. In addition to this, I have served as Chair of the Libertarian Party of Oakland County from 2011-2015.
Race/ethnicity White
Incumbent? false
Clearly, by the fact that there is a solvency being threatened indicates that the money initially budgeted for this municipality in question or school district in question was for some reason inadequate. Thus I would say that first there should be a review of why this happened. Once it is made certain that only necessary spending is being done, then the state could make up the difference, and perhaps adjust the budget for this particular entity, making sure that the budget shortfall never happens again.
Yes, I believe that the way the state funds our cities is adequate to ensure safety and service delivery. At this time, I would not support any changes to our municipal finance model.
When cities are struggling, then there has to be a review of why this has happened. Was the initial amount of money budgeted for the municipality in question adequate? If not, then this amount should be appropriately adjusted, and then we must make sure that this never happens again. Hopefully the state will have to make up the difference just this once. With respect to state intervention through an emergency manager, this must never be done. The problem with emergency managers is that they are appointed by the governor, and those in charge of managing a municipality must always be elected by the people, and never appointed by anyone.
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I found it unbelievable that this problem even occurred in the first place, and went on as long as it did. When I was working as a Quality Control Chemical Technician for Witco Allied-Kelite, it was a part of my duties to sometimes check the waste water samples which came from the plant's water treatment facility. We checked the samples for concentrations of Nickel, Zinc and Chromium as well as pH. This was done daily, with adjustments made to the waste water to get it into discharge limits. This may have been a relatively small operation, but it was taken seriously, and we never had any reason to withhold true test results. Flint water personnel must have also had no motive to do this.
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They should have acted faster, and concentrated more on the motives of the people at the highest level of our state government, and less on the low level people doing the actual laboratory work.
No, never.
No, never.
It could be somewhat fair, but is too complex. Personally, I would even like to eliminate the Michigan Income Tax completely altogether if I can figure the best way to insure that we still get the revenue that we need to run our state. Until then, I think that we should just simplify our state tax code to where we just have our state tax returns take up one side of one page with simple, straightforward instructions.
No. We do not need more layers of bureaucracy.
Not many changes, but if anything there should be less regulation.
Yes. these people were born to be the way that they are, and should not be discriminated against for that.
No. This is just using religion as a justification for bigotry and discriminatory behavior.
No.
Yes. One can clearly see all of the gerrymandering that had been going on in recent years in Michigan's legislative district lines. We need to stop this.
Yes. I don't use it myself, but it should be a person's own business whether or not they use this. However they should still be held liable if they are impaired by this or other drugs while driving.
Yes, and I would like to. I have already heard Former New Mexico Governor and current Libertarian Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson speak in person at our state convention, and I fully endorse him for President of the United States.
It all depends what they are. They should pay for their own environmental maintenance, beyond that, they should pretty much manage themselves.
Yes. I might like to change the criminal justice system. Prison sentences, especially for non-violent offenders tend to be too long.

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