October 2006 Views
Mike Lahti: Candidate for Michigan House of Representatives, 110th District
By Mike Lahti
HANCOCK -- I am married to Sharon; we have six children and seven grandchildren. I graduated from Hancock High School and Northern Michigan University. I have been in business as an insurance agent, small-business owner and real estate developer for 38 years in Houghton County. I was elected to the Hancock School Board and served from 1994 to 2001. Since 1994 I have been on the Finlandia Board of Trustees, where I currently serve as Vice Chairman. In 2000 I was elected to the Houghton County Board of Commissioners, where I serve as Chairman. I believe my experience in business, schools and local government, where I have worked with people to get things done, will make me an effective Representative for the western
I feel the most important issues facing the western U.P. and the State of Michigan are: jobs, education, health care and clean land and water.
Jobs: Michigan needs to encourage a business climate that creates jobs and keeps the jobs we have. We need to diversify the economy through emphasis on high-tech jobs, life sciences, homeland security, tourism, logging and alternative fuels using Michigan crops and wood waste. We need a sensible business tax to replace the out-going Single Business
Tax -- one
that's based on a business's profit, not the number of employees it has. I would like to see interest-free student loans to graduates who earn degrees in high-tech fields and work in Michigan for five years.
We need to continue to fully fund K-12, colleges and universities so our children can compete for the jobs of the future. Supporting our U.P. colleges is not only important for educating our young adults, but the good jobs they provide are vital to our economy. Further, entrepreneurs are more likely to start businesses in an area with an educated, skilled workforce.
Making health care more accessible and affordable will help Michigan families and children. I support allowing the state to use its bulk-buying power to drive down the cost of prescription drugs. I would also support legislation to create a large group plan to provide affordable health care for our uninsured. This can be done without any additional cost to the state by leveraging present federal Medicaid funds.
Clean Land and Water:
I think we have to do all we can to prohibit any diversion of our Great Lakes water. We have to reduce the amount of out-of-state and Canadian trash filling our landfills. It not only keeps this a good place to live, work and raise a family, but it encourages people to start businesses here.
Views expressed by our guest columnists are not necessarily the views of Keweenaw Now.
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