To The Point: Leonard, Singh on new legislative session


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Political Reporter Rick Albin spoke with Michigan Republicans and Democrats about their priorities for the new legislative season.

Republican Speaker of the House Rep. Tom Leonard has a long list, including fixing something he calls a broken system.

“Right now, we are spending a record amount on education. Nobody can dispute that fact. The big problem we have here, right now, is we have what I’m calling a broken teacher retirement system.

“One of the first bullet points in this plan is entitled govern courageously. It’s not easy to go in and fix some of these problems, but we have a broken teacher retirement system. Tight now that’s costing our local school districts 36 percent of their payroll, and within the next few years it could even be half of the payroll. We have got to fix that,” Leonard said.

Democratic Leader Rep. Sam Singh has a different take on education.

“Right now, the governor actually has a report on his desk that shows that $1,200 per pupil is missing, and so what does that mean? It means that our local schools we actually have bigger classroom sizes when we could actually have more resources in our schools. For me, that would be number one priority, making sure we have the right amount of money going into our K-12 schools,” Singh said.

Also on this Feb. 26, 2017 episode of “To The Point,” why an effort to rollback income taxes failed and what impact it could have on future legislation.