Grandville area Representative David Agema–who has received attention by Media Mouse for his anti-immigration positions–has promoted a business-friendly agenda while in the state legislature. According to an article published Monday in the Grand Rapids Press, Agema has promised to introduce three new bills “against” the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (the DEQ is a governmental body charged with regulating and protecting the state’s environment). The DEQ is currently facing significant budget shortfalls.
At a speech at the Coopersville Chamber of Commerce, the Press quoted Agema saying “The DEQ is costing Michigan huge sums because they hurt businesses.” Senator Wayne Kuipers who also appeared at the speech, was quoted saying “I’ve never met a business owner that doesn’t want to treat the environment well, but these guys accuse them of raping and pillaging the ground.”
The two legislators also attacked unions, with Kuipers expressing support for so-called “right to work” that would prohibit business-union agreements that require workers to join unions. Similarly, Agema said that he said that there is “a time when a union has no place.” The legislators also spoke of cutting the state’s budget, lowering taxes, and passing legislation that would require schools to compete via a “market” for students.
In the past, Agema has criticized the DEQ stating that:
“The DEQ is a prime example of government run amok… The agency has been granted broad, almost unquestionable power to regulate, fine and fee — a clear violation of the separation of powers doctrine… I have heard repeatedly from citizens and business owners that the DEQ is overly intrusive and unnecessarily costs them time, money and resources. We need to attract businesses to our state, not encourage them to leave.”
Agema has previously introduced legislation that would require fines and fees collected by the DEQ to be deposited in the state’s general fund.