ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Democratic state lawmakers are promoting a package of bills they say will help make Michigan a hub for advanced battery production.

WWJ’s Florence Walton reports that, speaking at news conferences Monday across the state, Democrats talked about the need to grow Michigan’s advanced battery sector, saying Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to do away with Michigan’s battery incentive program is hurting job creation.

State Rep. Vicki Barnett said incentives for advanced battery research and production were helping Michigan create a new economy.

“When Gov. Granholm put these incentives in place with the legislature a few years ago, they were heralded as turning Michigan around,” said Barnett.

“They were very successful in bringing new battery jobs here, so it did work. And then, this year, the rug was ripped out from under it,” she said.

Democratic lawmakers said the battery incentives created more than 6,000 jobs in the state in just two years.

Rep. Jim Townsend talked about what is included in the Democrats’ new battery bill:

  • Tax credits for companies involved in battery pack manufacturing, facility construction, vehicle integration and more.
  • Tax credits for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Substantial income tax credits for people who buy electric vehicles.
  • A $50 million grant from an existing economic gardening fund, intended to attract new businesses.

Townsend said accountability is built into the proposed legislation, which will require proof the incentives are creating jobs before additional incentives can be awarded.


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