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Putting aside political differences for the greater public good has been given a lot of lip service, and Kevin Daley wants to put the rhetoric into action.
The Farm Bureau-endorsed Friend of Agriculture for the 31st State Senate District knows that divisions in American society sometimes begin at the local level, and state and national policies can exacerbate those divisions.
State and federal over-regulation, in fact, is the biggest problem facing Michigan residents, Daley said on his county AgriPac candidate questionnaire. Addressing burdensome state regulations, Daley seeks perspective.
“Prospective legislators need to understand that a large part of their job is to provide oversight over regulatory agencies,” he said. “A lot of legislators don’t understand this, but I do. One example of solid regulatory reform (were) SB 652, 653 and 654.”
The Farm Bureau-supported bills that provide legislative oversight for the DEQ have been passed into law.
As another example of confusing state and federal regulations, Daley cited labor issues. Daley said he believes labor policy needs state input.
“So much of the labor policy and issues come out of Washington, D.C., and the only fix is on the national level,” he said. “I am in favor of a coordinated effort involving both state and federal elected officials getting on the same page to promote and lobby to help Michigan with the labor issue.”
Part of the solution for that issue is vocational education, which Daley supported when Gov. Rick Snyder signed bills that increased opportunities for such education.
“While (I was) in the legislature, we worked hard to improve and support vocational education,” he said.
Along with labor and educational challenges comes a concerning lack of ag processing.
“I have always believed that agricultural renaissance zones were a good idea,” he said. “Being able to keep and facilitate new processing of Michigan agricultural products is a solid economic development strategy whereby everyone would benefit.”
Daley also takes a practical view of the state’s infrastructure challenges.
“Political rhetoric doesn’t build and maintain these things,” he said. “Money makes it happen. I am not in favor of raising taxes, but I am in favor of more funding for infrastructure within the current state budget.”
Daley also supports measures that protect agriculture from conflicting local land use issues. He wants to look hard at policies that damage dairy farmers and threaten to concentrate it in certain areas.
While working to improve such situations, Daley said he believes he can bring common sense to the Senate.
“People who have worked in the real world, owned a business, paid taxes and raised a family, and have a great amount of common sense” are needed in office, he said.
Daley’s record in the House speaks to that common sense. He was an original sponsor of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), supported changes to the Miss Dig law that protects farmers from shortsighted regulation, and fought for sensible wetland regulations. He also received Michigan Farm Bureau’s Silver Plow Award for his legislative service to agriculture.