62nd State House Rep. Dr. John Bizon passed on a third term to run for the State Senate, and two men who with deep community ties are squaring off to replace him.  One of them, Democrat Jim Haadsma, was a recent guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins. 

Here are some of the things discussed:

Term Limits.  Haadsma says he thinks that term limits are a good thing in principle, but that they need to be modified in Michigan.  He says that three two-year terms for a state representative is "a bit modest" and gives lobbyists more say with inexperienced lawmakers.

Why he's running?  He says he enjoys advocating for his clients as an attorney (34 years)  but would look forward to advocating for a large class of people in the 62nd district.

Expertise.  As a result of his law practice, Haadsma says he has a lot of knowledge in the area of injured workers, disability cases, workman's compensation.  He says his knowledge of these programs would bring a lot of benefit to the state legislature.  As a result of his service on the Calhoun County Board, he understands state funding and revenue-sharing and issues like roads and bridges.

Auto Insurance Reform.  Haadsma says he thinks we need to "be more muscular" in relation to the insurers of no-fault coverage.  He says the no-fault insurers are underwriting on basis that really aren't fair to many citizens.  He says he moved one zip code away and his insurance rose dramatically.   He thinks we need to make auto insurers come before insurance commissioners before they can raise rates.  Haadsma says he would have voted against a failed bill earlier this year, because it would have been a shell game where we were going to get lower premiums for practically valueless coverage. He says we need to modify no-fault insurance, but do it in sensible ways and not in ways which would bring us back to pre-1973.

Michigan Roads and Infrastructure.  As a result of Public Act 51, Haadsma says there isn't enough uniformity in the condition of our roads, even within the same county.  He says we need to modify that to ensure uniformity.

Other things on his list to do if elected.

  • He would sponsor a bill for an independent analysis of Line 5 under the Mackinac Bridge.
  • Expand unemployment from 20 to 26 weeks and tie the dollars paid out each week to the rate of inflation.
  • Revisit the "Dark Store" loophole that enables some large companies to skirt their tax responsibilities to local units of government.
  • Transparency in government is one of his top issues.