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Michigan democrats launch plan to create more job opportunities in state

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LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL3 ) - Michigan democrats have launched a new jobs plan they say will grow more job opportunities in Michigan.

But some companies aren't completely on board.

Democrats are introducing this plan a week after Governor Snyder helped pass bills that would lure large companies to Michigan.

This plan is much different from the Governor's Good Jobs for Michigan legislation. Democrats want to give small businesses a leg up when it comes to winning state contracts.

Michigan companies lose out on $7 billion in state business, and some contracts go to out of state companies, according to House Democratic Leader Sam Singh.

"Right now, our Pure Michigan magazine is being done by an out-of-state vendor. There are companies here that have the skills and abilities that could have done that here in Michigan," he said.

Twenty-seven other states have incentives to help their homegrown businesses win state contracts.

To change that, democrats are pushing a jobs plan aimed to keep tax dollars and jobs in Michigan.

"There's a multiplier effect when those dollars actually stay in Michigan, versus going to another state, and that's what democrats want to be able to capture, is that employment opportunity, but also the multiplier effect of those dollars being spent in our local communities," said Rep. Singh.

Democrats want to give Michigan companies 30 days to resubmit their bids for state contracts if they lose out to out of state firms. The plan would give an 8% preference to in-state companies, providing an edge in the bidding process.

"You have very small margins when it comes to winning out a bid for a state contract. So 8 percent, I can't imagine there are a lot of companies that are doing greater than 8% within their margin right now," said Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association spokesman Lance Binoniemi.

MITA represents dozens of construction Michigan companies.

Binoniemi says the democrat's plan sounds like a good concept, but there's a catch.

"We want to build the best roads possible in our state to last the longest. If we are limited to different aggregates we are able to use or we can't go get them from others state's or get them at an increase cost, our roads may suffer because of that," he said.

Democrats say the bills will help small businesses be more competitive and promote transparency by requiring departments to share wage information and number of jobs created under state contracts.

They say that will allow you to find out if contractors are living up to their end of the bargain.

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