Reps. discuss plan for Michigan's middle class

Apr 2, 2013

MARQUETTE, MI--   State Representatives Scott Dianda and John Kivela held a press conference in Marquette Tuesday morning to unveil the House Democrats' “Middle Class Agenda.”  

110th District Representative Scott Dianda

From input gathered at hearings across the state, the Democrats say they’ve developed a plan to help Michigan’s middle-class families. 

109th District Representative John Kivela

The agenda includes funding K-12 education; repealing taxes on seniors and middle-class families; eliminating barriers to health care for women; and fixing the state’s roads and bridges. 

Dianda says the Snyder administration is playing a shell game when it comes to education.

“We take $500 away per head across the State of Michigan and we throw back $100 or $125, not even getting us up to where we need to be,” he says, “and it’s always being sold back to the people across the state that we’re increasing education.  No, we’re not.”

Kivela says the same thing is happening in Snyder’s infrastructure plan.  He says the governor wants to replace the 18-cent fuel tax and 20-cent sales tax on gasoline with a 34-cent fuel tax, which will make gas cheaper.  But residents will make it up elsewhere.

“So, effectively, the price of gasoline would go down,” he says.  “But how do you make up that 20 cents?  That 20 cents is going to the School Aid Fund.  That’s about a $900 million hole.  So then again you replace it with a one-cent sales tax increase.  So what have you really done?  I mean, it’s another one those ‘move it around [actions]’.  Who’s going to pay the sales tax increase?  We are.”

House Democrats plan to introduce a series of bills tailored to the agenda in the next few weeks. 

For more information about the plan, go to