Alliance Testifies on its 2015 Priorities in Front of Senate Commerce Committee

Representatives of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, led by Petoskey Regional Chamber President Carlin Smith and Alliance director of government relations Kent Wood, were on hand in Lansing on February 18th to testify in front of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The Alliance was invited by commerce committee chairman Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) to join other regional Chambers from around the state to update the committee on their priorities and perceived barriers to economic growth.

The Alliance shared the following priorities for the 2015-2016 session:

  • Comprehensive Statewide Energy policy that ensures energy reliability and affordability in northern Michigan.
  • Support updated programs, policies, and investment in talent and workforce development, training, retention, and attraction.
    • Michigan New Jobs Training Program
  • Support regulatory reforms where needed.
  • Support the expansion of business infrastructure in northern Michigan.
  • Continue to close the gap in K-12 per pupil funding.
  • Support investment in talent and workforce development, training, retention, and attraction.
  • Support comprehensive transportation infrastructure funding, including roads, airports, rail, and shipping.
    • Reform to road and airport funding structures
  • Retain/Increase funding for Pure Michigan.
  • Retain funding for Great Start Readiness Program and early childhood education.

The Alliance also shared various barriers to success in northern Michigan, which can be seen by viewing the Powerpoint presented at the hearing:

alliance-priorities_sen-commerce_2_18_15.pptx

One outcome of the hearing is that the Alliance, after being suggested by a member of the committee, will work on setting up a summer tour with the Senate Commerce committee and various northern Michigan businesses.

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