Growing Business. Building Community.

2016 Legislative Priorities for the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance

Workforce, Housing & Education

Engage on issues that contribute positively to northern Michigan’s ability to attract, retain, train, house, and educate workforce.

  • Support the continuation and expansion of the Skilled Trades Training Fund
  • Support Unemployment Insurance reform
  • Support re-instituting Career Pathways activities in K-12 education
    • Talent Investment Board key strategies (coming soon) will likely include requirements for legislative action
  • Support policies that incentivize the development of a variety of housing options across northern Michigan.
  • Continue support for 2x funding and funding for early childhood programs

Transportation Infrastructure

Continue efforts to obtain investment and reforms for air, rail, road and waterway transit.

  • Work with MAJIC coalition to make funding reforms for airport investment
  • Obtain project funding for the Soo Locks
  • Maintain or increase federal and state funding to maintain harbor and waterway dredging in northern Michigan
  • Continue advocacy for roads and bridge infrastructure to ensure northern Michigan gets its fair share of investment

Health Care

Continue efforts to ensure health care is accessible and affordable for job providers and employees in northern Michigan.

  • Rural Hospital/OB funding
  • Oppose/engage on HICA tax increase proposal
  • Address nursing/physician shortages
  • Address the future of the Healthy Michigan plan

Energy

Continue to push for energy policy reforms that benefit northern Michigan’s long-term competitive business climate.

  • Pass legislation that allows funding for “last mile” natural gas connection in rural communities
  • Oppose efforts to completely ban the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration
  • Source for the continued study of the feasibility of expanding electric transmission across the straits of Mackinac
  • Be a source of information, education and a reasonable voice in finding a solution for the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline

Tourism

Continue to provide support for industries impacted by tourism.

  • Support maintaining or expanding the $33 million appropriated in the FY 2015-16 budget for Pure Michigan
  • Oppose attempts to outright repeal the Post Labor Day School Start law
  • Support expansion of H2B visa program for guest service workers

Business Growth & Development

Engage on issues that support sustained business growth and development in northern Michigan.

  • Engage in ballot proposals that impact business growth and development in northern Michigan.
  • DEQ regulation process reform
  • Keep an eye on TIF/DDA/Brownfield reforms
  • MEDC – continue to encourage the streamlining of funding
  • Continue to encourage the streamlining of antiquated rules and regulations