Marquette, MI – April 14, 2017 – Scott Dianda from Calumet currently holds a seat in the House of Representatives, representing the 110th District. He is now looking to shift to the Senate, where he is running to represent the 38th District.
Rep. Dianda stopped by the 8th Day with Todd Paz to discuss his candidacy and some of his policies. In this two-part interview, Rep. Dianda covers a variety of topics including his supported legislation to help the area, how to help bring down power costs in the Upper Peninsula, and his thoughts on the heroin problem in the U.P.
Dianda is a frequent traveler. Every Monday, he leaves Calumet at about 4am and drives to Lansing to get there in the afternoon. Then every Thursday, after session, he drives back to Calumet. As a big proponent of talking to the people he represents, he encourages people to call him on Monday’s when he his on the road for 8 hours. He claims one of the things most important to him is “taking care of the people’s needs that actually call you.” Dianda even gives out his phone number: 906-369-3338.
Dianda goes on to talk about the future of his district, as well as the future of the Upper Peninsula as a whole. He mentions “jobs of the future” and legislation to help the Upper Peninsula job industry. He has supported bills that give schools the option to provide classes and training for vocational skill jobs.
With many people struggling to pay their power costs in the Upper Peninsula, Dianda plans to attack the problem with competition. Ironwood, who gets their power from Minnesota, pays about 7 cents per kilowatt, while some counties that use UPPCO pay around 24 cents per killowat. Dianda believes the only way to drive prices down is to bring competition to the area. Dianda says that cross-state options are on the table, and that we also need to consider new technology such as solar and wind power.
In Part 2 of his interview, Dianda talks about his passion to tackle the heroin problem that his district faces head on. He claims he has been trying to get more funding to create a new UPSET (Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team) West. He calls the heroin being brought in from outside of the area a “crisis” and wants to put more money into education. He believes too much is spent on what he calls “corporate welfare” (handouts to corporations) and wants individual counties to be responsible for their own economic development.