Dave Maturen says he would bring a mix of experience in local government and small business to the state Legislature if he is elected.
The Chairman of the Kalamazoo County Commission is a real estate appraiser. He is running for state House in the 63rd district, which includes parts of Kalamazoo and Calhoun Counties. It's currently represented by House Speaker Jase Bolger, who cannot run again because of term limits. Maturen sat down with WMUK's Gordon Evans. Some highlights:
Maturen says it was a relief for local governments to receive full revenue sharing this year. But he says local and county governments shouldn't be too reliant on state revenue. Maturen says he would keep local revenue sharing at current levels. He says options are a good thing for additional revenue. But Maturen says there should not be mandates to levy additional taxes.
Asked about sources of energy, Maturen says the state should look at various methods. He says that should include exploring things like wind and solar. But he says there are obstacles to making that a major source of energy. Maturen says nuclear power should also be an option, since it doesn't produce many greenhouse gasses.
Maturen says he didn't know much about the "common core" education standards until he started the campaign for state House. Maturen says national standards are needed in a global economy. He doesn't view "common core" as a national takeover of education. But Maturen says there is a problem with measuring the results.
Michigan's privatized food service has been plagued by a number of problems, including contaminated food. Maturen says privatization requires good performance standards. He says contracting out some service can allow prisons or other state entities to focus on their core functions. Maturen says some of the same problems have likely happened with state workers as well.
Term limits are likely here to say, according to Maturen. But he says the current limits may be too short. Maturen says he plans to serve six years at the most, so he's not looking to stay longer in Lansing. But he says three terms in the House isn't enough time to gain expertise. Maturen says Michigan's state government is probably big and complex enough for a full-time Legislature. He says a part-time Legislature would put more power in the executive branch.
Discussion of other issues can be heard in the web version of the interview.
Additional money for fixing and maintaining roads remains a major issue for the Legislature. Maturen says it will be tough to find the money needed to repair roads in the current budget. He says some combination of an increase in the gas tax and vehicle registration fees will likely be needed. He would also consider additional fees for heavier trucks on Michigan roads.
The state is reviewing the standards for landfills in Michigan after it was discovered that low-level radioactive waste from a Pennsylvania "fracking" operation was headed for a Michigan landfill. Maturen says he would like to see the science and hear from the experts from any risks associated with accepting that type of waste. Maturen says he would also want to examine the science related to "fracking" to determine if additional regulations are needed.
A Detroit Free Press series on charter school this summer uncovered problems with oversight. Maturen says all public schools should be held to a high standards for how public money is spent and for educational quality.
Right to Work
Maturen says many companies would not consider Michigan previously because of a strong union environment. He says there hasn't been a rush of new businesses coming to the state, but he says it does make Michigan more welcoming to new business. Maturen says "right to work" states in the south have attracted new jobs in the auto industry.