Sen. Jones fights over-regulation

LANSING — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to ban any administrative rule mandating workplace ergonomics rules in Michigan was approved Wednesday by the Senate Economic Development Committee.

Senate Bill 20 is expected to be taken up soon by the full Senate and sent to the House of Representatives.

“Governor Rick Snyder called for this in his State of the State address. When this bill is signed by the governor it will send a strong message that Michigan is developing a better business climate so our children and grandchildren have jobs,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Companies and businesses looking at locating in Michigan will know that this is not an additional threat to their success. It also draws a strong contrast between former Governor Granholm who wanted more regulation and Governor Snyder who wants more jobs.”

California, which just passed Michigan in unemployment rates, is currently the only state with separate mandatory workplace ergonomics rules. Ergonomics standards are indicated in the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration guidelines and companies must operate under these rules. The state of Washington previously mandated workplace ergonomics rules, but the law was overturned by voters there.

Gov. Granholm pushed for stand-alone Michigan standards during her two terms. In his first term in the House of Representatives, Jones passed a bill through the House and Senate stopping this but Granholm vetoed it.

Studies show that separate Michigan ergonomics rules could cost Michigan employers an extra $400 to $500 million.