Joel Johnson announces re-election bid

JOHNSON
JOHNSON

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Michigan State Rep. Joel Johnson announced that he will be seeking a third term as 97th District Representative. The 97th District consists of portions of Osceola County and the entirety of Clare, Gladwin, and Arenac counties.

“I ran for office to address the problems facing Michigan’s families,” said Johnson. “I knew that the decisions would not be easy, but I was committed to making the necessary reforms today to help our state for generations to come. I remain committed to a more effective and efficient state government.

“Hardworking taxpayers are struggling. They deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely. At the same time, I’ve looked to eliminate job-killing regulations while restoring the government’s proper role within the framework of our constitution.”

A longtime grain elevator manager from Clare, Johnson sits on the House Agriculture, Natural Resources, Judiciary, Commerce and Financial Services committees, where he has had a role in shaping policy measures. In these committees, he has been able to work toward a job-friendly environment in Michigan.

“Without jobs, we cannot advance as a state,” Johnson noted. “That is why every vote I take is cast through the lens of whether the bill in question will make our state more conducive to job creation.”

Johnson, who holds a technical degree from Michigan State University, cited efforts to reform the high school curriculum mandate to allow flexibility for skilled trades programs as his top priority in the current term. Following a series of hearings, Johnson’s bipartisan legislation currently awaits action by the state senate.

“We have thousands of jobs in the trades available for Michigan students right now,” noted Johnson. “It pains me to think about the students who do not have the flexibility needed to fit a trades program into their schedule. Many are missing out on a future career. These jobs require a high skill level and pay high wages. I’m going to continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this legislation through the senate on behalf of our students.”

Johnson has continued in his efforts to ensure that state legislators live under the same rules as Michigan’s families. Following up on his legislation which ended post-retirement healthcare benefits for himself and currently-serving lawmakers, he has introduced a bill this term which would require retired lawmakers under the prior system to pay a higher share of their healthcare costs just as Michigan’s pensioners have done.

“We have asked for sacrifices from our public workers," he said. "We as lawmakers must be willing to live under the same policies we ask of them. This means leading by example.”

Johnson expressed a particular appreciation for the level of contact area residents have maintained with his office.

“I continue to enjoy a busy schedule of public meetings, monthly office hours in our four counties, and numerous local events," he added. "My constituents speak with me constantly. Their input has helped me to take positions on legislation in an informed way. I will continue to be actively on the job as state representative.

“We have started to see signs of economic recovery with unemployment dropping and personal incomes on the rise. Our hardworking taxpayers desire stability and predictability as decisions are made about investments and household budgets. I will continue to take a measured approach and make informed votes on the important challenges facing us. I would be honored to be able to continue to represent the people of this area for a third term.”