The Craig Fahle Show

State House Speaker Jase Bolger and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Craig speaks with State House Speaker Jase Bolger and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel at the Mackinac Policy Conference. Bolger is also scheduled to participate in a discussion tomorrow at the conference that will focus on resilience and strong leadership during and after Detroit's bankruptcy.

House Democratic Leader Greimel and House Speaker Bolger discuss the bipartisanship in Lansing last week surrounding the bills to aid Detroit. "We are spending time to solve the problems that need to be solved, we are coming together," Bolger says.

"I appreciate the Republican leadership to get the support for Detroit done," says Greimel, in agreement. Indeed, the bills were important for retirees, and both sides of the House tell Craig that a fair and balanced package was more important than partisan divisions. "Detroit's success will determine the success of southeast Michigan and the region as a whole," Greimel says.

The Detroit bills have also led the legislature to realize that state priorities are just as much a priority as serving each district separately. However, help from the state will have strings attached, and part of that will be state oversight. Bolger and Greimel both say that Detroit's City Council and Mayor Duggan have been working hard, so state oversight doesn't necessarily have to mean tight control.

"The balance between state oversight and city officials is important," says Bolger. The House Speaker says that the state looked at the NYC model, where city officials in Detroit can work toward reaching certain markers to demonstrate their ability to the state and regain control. The state oversight will still be in place, but Bolger explains that it can go "dormant" if it's not needed and also reassert control if necessary.

Craig also speaks with Bolger and Greimel about the minimum wage increase. "The reality is this is a big step forward for Michigan's working families," says Greimel. He adds that the House believes in rewarding hard work and providing people with a wage they can live with. A big part of that was indexing the increase to the cost of living. Bolger says a minimum wage increase can happen gradually and responsibly, while also taking business owners into account.

--Annamarie Sysling