Michigan August Primary, 2018
Thank you letter to Official Candidate Responders below:
Candidate Jason Noble (D) State Senator 19th District (Barry County)
Candidate Mike Callton (R) State Senator 19th District (Barry County)
Rep. Julie Calley (R-I) 87th District State (Barry County)
1. What do you think is the most important obstacle to the improvement of the economic status of the Middle Class and those Striving to Enter the Middle Class?
2. What are your five top legislative priorities that will increase the middle class by lowering the poverty rate in your district and/or state?
Original and Third Sending Letter
The MceZ Core Principle for May is EXCELLENCE!
Open letter for MceZ-It! Publishing
May 22, 2018
Subject: Middle Class
Dear Candidate ______,
Thank you for running for office. As I see it, the subject of economics creates lively discussion here in Barry County, and for good reason.
This area was particularly hit during the Recession of 2008, (http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/10/great_recession_leaves_michiga.html) wages still tend to be low, (http://www.city-d ata.com/income/income-Hastings-Michigan.html, https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-poverty-thresholds.htmltps://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty.html), and good effort has been made in many areas to move forward.
I have an interest in the upcoming election like any other voter citizen. However, I am especially interested in seeing citizen driven issues come before the citizens in a thoughtful and civil manner.
Two questions I have for you, are as follows:
What do you think is the most important obstacle to the improvement of the economic status of the Middle Class and those Striving to Enter the Middle Class?
What are your five top legislative priorities that will increase the middle class by lowering the poverty rate in your district and/or state?
I look forward to hearing from you. (If I have not received a response by June 1, I’ll write you again.)
Hastings, Michigan 49058
Candidate Jason Noble
May 22, 2018
Thanks for writing! On a side note, I believe I remember hearing about MCEZ, maybe it was you who I talked to. I hope MCEZ is doing well!
I believe a basic living wage is probably the biggest obstacle as we continually race to the bottom. I really do see a living wage as a way to lift people out of poverty, give them options for school, learning a trade, saving towards a house and helping people get on their feet and off assistance as my conservative friends are so quick to want. A good living wage will also force skilled labor jobs to compete for new employees and to retain what they have.
Five priorities? I'd still list living wage as one, repeal Michigan's right to work law so Unions are better protected, increase job training programs, invest in infrastructure to create jobs and start businesses competing for workers, a better tax structure to make sure the wealthy and businesses pay fair taxes to pay for programs, invest in education to make students competitive (reduce standardized tests, pay teachers, separate public funds from Charter schools, straight up ban Charter schools if given the opportunity).
I'd encourage you to check out noble4mich.com for my blog (updated multiple times per week) and issues section and links to social media.
Thanks again for being engaged!
Candidate Mike Callton
The MceZ Core Principle for May is EXCELLENCE!
Open letter for MceZ-It! Publishing
Thank you for writing me. It's great to get a vote, but it's super great to get an educated vote.
On the subject of improving the middle class, that's who I represent. There are not very many millionaires in the county and the population is mainly middle class. As a chiropractor I treat farmers, clerical workers, laborers, etc. as these are the people who use their bodies and get aches and pains that are helped by chiropractic. I was told when I graduated chiropractic school to drive out into the country until I found a town that had more pick-up trucks than sedans and then hang out my shingle.
How can I help the middle class as a senator? First of all we need to keep improving the economy, which creates the jobs that creates the middle class. Wages are rising but there are still many that do not earn a living wage. Benefits have suffered and could use improvement. My views on workers benefits have earned me the endorsement of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and the Michigan Nurses Association for this election...and there are more such labor endorsements to come. These are rare endorsements for a Republican.
1. Let's get the roads fixed
2. Keep creating jobs and increasing wages
3. Improve and protect benefits
4. Lower the cost of car insurance. My plan would save a two car family $280 per year
5. Part Time Legislature. I worked my chiropractic office half time when I was in the legislature. It will save money and keep legislators connected to their citizens.
Thank you again for writing me Doris,
Rep. Julie Calley (R-I)
June 29, 2018
Thank you for both your patience and perseverance.
You asked: What do you think is the most important obstacle to the improvement of the economic status of the Middle Class and those Striving to Enter the Middle Class?
My answer is auto insurance reform. Depending on which study we rely on, Michigan is either the first or the third ranking state in terms of auto insurance expense. The term “no-fault” is often blamed for our rates, but I disagree. It’s actually the mandate of unlimited medical coverage with every auto insurance premium that drives our costs. None of us have any choice in the matter. If we purchase car insurance, the unlimited medical coverage cannot be excluded or diminished, no matter what health insurance we already pay for or have access to.
No-fault was intended to lessen the number of lawsuits which took place. When an accident occurred, it was approached as though no one was at fault. However, as the years have progressed, insurance companies and medical providers have fallen into a habit of suing each other as a result of auto insurance claims, so no-fault has not drastically reduced the number of lawsuits, as was intended.
The insurer/medical provider lawsuits would lessen if we developed a fee scheduled and a required a specific turn around time for payments. As it stands now, medical providers can bill the “chargemaster rate”, or the highest allowable premium. There is no contractually negotiated fee schedule, as medical providers have with health insurance companies.
Addressing fraud would also lessen our premiums, as would giving consumers a choice as to what level of medical insurance they wanted to purchase with their auto insurance policy.
Another cost driver is the Michigan Catastrophic Claims fund, which collects money from all of us in order to pay for ongoing, tragic auto insurance victims. Through a series of lawsuits over the years, more and more claims have been deemed appropriate. (It pays for mime therapy. What in the world is mime therapy?) While we have $20 billion in the fund (yes, billion), accounting experts claim that we actually need far more. This simply can’t go on.
A bill which made sweeping changes to auto insurance reform came before the House last year. I voted “yes”, but the bill lacked support and failed with only 45 votes. At least 17 other bills have been introduced in the House this term, but none of them have received hearings yet. I have made it clear that I am willing to vote for any reform or improvement to the system, as it is the number one concern I hear from constituents.
For struggling Michiganders, there is no greater way to provide meaningful savings than to reform the high cost of auto insurance in our state.
You also asked: What are your five top legislative priorities that will increase the middle class by lowering the poverty rate in your district? My answers are as follows.
1. Auto insurance reform, as described above.
2. Skilled trades training
a. As you know, many employment opportunities available locally are in the manufacturing industry. It is important to equip those who are unemployed with skills that are needed, today. Helping individuals gain a path to employment and independence is critical to their success.
b. We need to help young people understand that college is only one path to success. Michigan needs a diversified workforce, and therefore our young people must be encouraged to follow their own interests and natural talents.
3. Economic development
a. As you referenced, rural areas are often seeing the economic comeback at a slower rate than more densely populated areas.
b. I support legislation which emphasizes bringing more jobs to rural areas of Michigan.
4. Health insurance
a. Healthy Michigan made changes so that people who wished to join the job market didn’t lose access to healthcare while they were trying to climb the ladder to independence.
b. I support maintaining health insurance which doesn’t punish people for pursuing employment opportunities.
c. Healthy Michiganders must have quality access to mental health services, as well.
a. Literacy has become a tremendous concern for our schools. Students cannot pursue gainful employment without a successful education.
b. Our latest budget provides a record-setting $240 per pupil increase to the lowest funded schools.
c. This budget also emphasizes early childhood education, literacy coaches, summer programs, and additional funding for skilled trades training.
I hope this information is helpful.
State Rep., 87th District