Shortly after the August primary races, Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) hosted a 2018 Candidate Interview Forum on Aug. 15 in Lansing, providing the state’s gubernatorial candidates from both parties and U.S. Senate contenders a platform in front of more than 120 farmers and agribusiness leaders. The candidates answered questions from AgriPac, MFB’s political action committee, about their policy priorities and positions on issues important to the food and agriculture industry.
Participants included the Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, Debbie Stabenow and John James and Republican candidate for governor, Bill Schuette. The Democratic candidate for governor, Gretchen Whitmer, was invited but did not attend.Following are excerpts of Bill Schuette’s responses to those questions posed by the MFB AgriPac members.Opening Comments: I have a history with agriculture. As a member of Congress I served on the Agriculture Committee worked on two farm bills 1985 and 1990. As the Director of Agriculture here in Michigan I helped put through the Right to Farm guidelines. And as Attorney General I made sure that we've fought the WOTUS rules developed under the Barack Obama administration. As Attorney General I've issued a couple of opinions concerning the Right-to-Farm law preempts local ordinances which I think is important. I have also issued opinions concerning minimum wages and exempting small farms. I have worked and served for all of you for many years. You have hired me in the past to serve and be a good voice and advocate for agriculture. I'm so proud to have received the silver and golden plows from Farm Bureau.Q. If elected governor what would be the top three priorities your administration would focus on in the first twelve-months?A. As your governor there are three issues that are very important to me.Number one we'll roll back the Granholm income tax increase. The Granholm income tax increase was supposed to have been temporary but instead its cost Michigan families eight billion dollars. So rolling back income tax rates number one.