WSW: Former Rep. Mike Callton Says There's Still Work To Be Done In State Senate

Jul 4, 2018

Mike Callton
Credit Gordon Evans / WMUK

Mike Callton says the state made a lot improvements during his six years in the state House, but he says there is still a lot of work to do. Callton is running for the Republican nomination in the 19th state Senate District, which includes Barry, Calhoun and Ionia Counties. The seat is currently held by Republican Mike Nofs. He cannot run again due to term limits. 


Callton who has been a chiropractor in Nashville for 27 years faces current state Representative John Bizon for the Republican nomination. Callton spoke with WMUK’s Gordon Evans.

Roads

Callton says Michigan should consider changes to the system for funding roads. He says that could include more money for townships. Callton says he doesn’t think that more revenue is needed. He says the state just needs to set priorities. The Legislature did approve a road funding plan in 2015. Callton says when that’s fully implemented in 2021, roads in Michigan will improve.

Education

A former school board member, Callton describes himself as a strong advocate for public schools, but says he also likes choice such as private schools, home schooling and charters. Callton says he is concerned that funding for charters comes at the expense of traditional public schools. Callton says he would favor “separate buckets” to pay for traditional public schools and charter schools.

Auto Insurance

Callton says Michigan’s auto insurance rates are so high because of the assessment that funds the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. It pays for long-term health care for serious injuries due to auto accidents. Callton says he thinks the fund needs more oversight and transparency. He says the MCCA should have more than enough money to pay for long-term care, and be able to reduce the assessment paid by car owners. Callton says he does not favor ending the lifetime benefits provided by the MCCA. He says serious injuries can be expensive. Callton says if that coverage runs out, people would have to spend down most of their savings until they are eligible for Medicaid.

President Trump

Callton says when knocking on doors people will ask “What do you think of President Trump?” He says they ask the question either because they really like or don’t like the President. Callton says he likes some of the Trump administration policies like tighter immigration and reworking trade deals. As far as style, Callton says some people “wanted to throw a hand grenade into the system.”

Discussion of other issues can be heard in the web version of the interview. 

Guns

Callton says he doesn’t think schools should ban guns. He says someone should be able to fight back if a shooting begins. Callton says teachers should have the option to be armed. He says there should be precautions to store the gun safely and to properly train teachers who want to be armed.

Line 5

Environmental groups have been calling for Enbridge’s Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac to be shut down. But Callton says the pipeline is needed to supply energy. He says the pipeline has to be carefully inspected and maintained.

Medicaid

Callton says Medicaid recipients should be required to work if they are able-bodied. He says work is good for people if they are able to do it. Callton says each case has to be examined to determine if someone should be exempt from work requirements.

Budget Future

Callton says he would not want to see taxes go up in Michigan. He is concerned about whether the state is ready for an economic downturn. Callton says after eight years of economic growth roads aren’t much better, and school infrastructure hasn’t been addressed. He says that could get worse in an economic downturn.

Ballot Proposals

Callton says he doesn’t support the ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana. As a state Representative he worked on medical marijuana changes. Callton says those included safeguards for safety and local control. He says he is concerned that the legalizing marijuana proposal doesn’t include those safeguards. Callton says he is also not supporting the redistricting proposal put forward by Voters Not Politicians. He says the state has a process in place for new legislative districts.

Abortion

Asked about the possibility of deciding abortion at the state level (if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe vs. Wade decision), Callton says abortion should be a state’s rights issue. He describes himself as pro-life. Callton says he is against abortion except to save the life of the mother.

Immigration

Callton says Michigan and other states need immigrants with certain skills, but he says it needs to be done legally.