There are six people vying for to become the next governor of Michigan on November 6. Keith Butkovich is the nominee from the Natural Law Party of Michigan. He spoke recently with WKAR’s Kevin Lavery, who asked what he thinks is the most pressing issue facing Michigan today.
One of them that’s certainly up there is the car insurance rates. Michigan, if it’s not the highest, it’s certainly one of the highest in the nation. There’s a lot of things I’d try to do. One of them would be to eliminate some of the regulations…the coverage that insurance companies are forced to offer you, I think there should be just a base one and then if you want more coverage, you should be able to do that. I would get rid of some of the medical because some of that is already covered.
But something else I would do is actually – since I’m a big freedom guy – I would actually make having auto insurance optional. That would be where if you didn’t have auto insurance and you got into an accident and it was your fault, then you’d have to pay. That would be one of the chances you’d take. But it’s a personal freedom issue, and personal responsibility.
Water quality is a top concern in our state. We have lead, copper and PFAS impacting the safety of our water. What would be your plan to make sure our drinking water is safe?
Well, part of it…we all know the Flint issue. I think the fact that the courts (said) (Governor) Snyder and the other people were not allowed to be defendants; I think that’s wrong. They should completely have to defend them, and if it’s proven that they knew or they were involved, then they should be responsible and it should come out of their own pockets instead of the state.
I live on the east side of the state. I’m near Detroit, so we have a big issue with the Detroit River and Lake Erie, especially down by the state line; they’ve had algae growth. That problem; part of it has to do with other states, in this case Ontario, because it’s a border. The only thing I worry about is if there’s too much regulation. I worry that it would hurt business too much, but at the same time, I do want clean water and anybody who does pollute it….whether it’s an industry or whether it’s government. Government also has some of the pollution. Absolutely, they should be responsible and they should have to pay accordingly to fix the problem.
Let’s switch over to education. More than half of our third graders are not reading proficiently at grade level. What’s your plan for reversing that trend?
Well, part of the problem, I think is federal; I think there’s way too much federal…I’m not a fan of the federal department of education at all. Unfortunately, that’s above my (jurisdiction) as governor. One other thing; I really think education is too bureaucratized. I think there’s too much at the state level and I really think the power should be at the local level, be it the county, a school district or parents. I think working more directly with the people in that community to come up with cost saving ideas… I think that would help the scores. Plus, reviewing the tests too to see how accurate they are.
Possibly changing the (state standardized) test?
It’s a possibility, yes.
What’s your vision for health care in Michigan?
I’m not a fan of government-involved health care; I think that actually hurts the services and the costs, in my opinion, go up. I really think that if you have some of the other issues with the taxes in general, with business and people…there would be more money available and I think there would be more competition with health care and that would bring costs down.
I also think that people that cannot afford it…I really think that with more money available to some of these people, that they would donate it, whether it’s a religious institution, a charity, a non-profit or some other thing. Because most people in Michigan are very generous. They’re willing to help their fellow man and woman when they’re needed.
So, does that come across as more taxes, then?
Then how do we pay for that?
Well…that’s a hard issue. But I do think with less bureaucracy there would be less charges for the hospitals and I do think if people had more money by lowering taxes and costs in a lot of areas that they would be able to contribute more to those who need it.