News Story

22 Of 498 Michigan Legislators Said 'No' To Corporate Welfare Since 2001

Freshman Rep. Steven Johnson was three-for-three with his 'no' votes

Michigan state Rep. Steven Johnson was one of 22 current and former legislators who voted against every business subsidy authorization that came before them since 2001 according to a new analysis by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Elected in 2017, Johnson faced three votes authorizing cash payments to corporations that were included on a voting record scorecard created for the analysis.

Johnson represents the 72nd District, which covers parts of Allegan and Kent counties.

The business subsidies benefitted a Lansing developer, a multi-national electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Taiwan, and Dan Gilbert, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers and is a major developer in downtown Detroit.

Johnson submitted his stance on corporate welfare in a statement to Michigan Capitol Confidential:

“I would be happy to work with Pfizer, Amazon, Quicken Loans or any other big corporation to lower taxes for all businesses in Michigan, but I am unwilling to subsidize a select few privileged businesses regardless of whether it is in my district or on the other side of the state. We should have a business climate that is appealing to all businesses, and we should encourage business growth in our districts by lowering taxes across the board in the state of Michigan for everybody. Studies show that Michigan could drastically cut the state business tax and the state income tax if we didn’t subsidize these large corporations off the backs of everybody else. For these and many other reasons, I am opposed to corporate welfare and would like to see a level playing field for all.”