STUTTGART, GERMANY (Talk Radio 1270) Charlie Langton’s morning show on Talk Radio 1270 caught Governor Rick Snyder Thursday during his trip to Germany and Italy, where he met with owners of auto supply companies to lure business to Michigan.
So, how’s his European trip going?
“It’s going well, the response has been great,” Snyder said. “They’re really looking at Michigan in a positive way. I had one person come up to me in Italy and say ‘6 percent’ because he was excited about our new corporate tax rate.”
Does Michigan’s strong union culture ever come up overseas?
“It does occasionally, but not that often in Europe,” Snyder said. “They’re used to a unionized environment … They’re familiar with the concepts. I’ve only had it come up two times.”
But while he’s in Europe, there’s still drama back home. Langton asked if Snyder has seen Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s counter-proposal to the consent agreement the state wants Detroit to enter. It would give a review board power to oversee the city’s troubled finances, with a charge to implement major monetary restructuring.
“I’ve got it (the proposal) in my email, it came to me in the middle of the night,” Snyder said.
“You haven’t read it yet?” Langton asked.
“The good part is we were hoping to get it early in the week, but we’re happy to get it,” Snyder said. “I’ve already talked to our group about making sure they can sit down and make sure we’re not holding up the process.”
Bing earlier said he wanted $135 million from the state to help Detroit, to which Langton asked, “Are there any circumstances where you would allow Detroit to get money?”
“Well, we’re trying to work with the city on refinancing their own debt,” Snyder said. “I’ve always been open to having a discussion about the capital structure and the issues Detroit has, but they need to be in the context of a long-term solution. Simply buying more time and being in this situation again is not a situation any of us want. I don’t believe that would be a great use of additional dollars.”
Moody’s credit rating recently downgraded Detroit’s score — so what does that mean for the city?
“It shows the external financial markets have less confidence in the city to solve its issues … It’s a mayor concern, and it’s something I hope people would look at and say ‘Hey, this really is a crisis and we need to deal with it appropriately,” Snyder said. It’s not about people divisive or causing issues, it’s about people coming together to show how they can work together to solve a problem.”
Could a consent agreement solve the problem? “That would be a natural thing to do,” Snyder said. “The best thing.”