For the past two legislative cycles, the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance and our local downtown development partners have kept a close eye on proposed legislation that would make large changes to the state’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) authorizing statutes.
After hearing that a long-debated draft would be introduced in the House in March, work on a formal version of that bill seemed to stall as the spring legislative session moved into summer recess.
The day before the legislature broke for summer recess, State Senator Ken Horn (R – Frankenmuth) introduced SBs 987-990 which also look at making changes to current DDA statutes.
We have heard from multiple insiders that the Senate looks to roll out its reforms in two phases: a phase one, which includes the bills recently introduced, that looks to tackle some consolidation and less controversial changes, and a phase two which would attempt some more controversial areas, presumably, many of the same controversial parts of the House bill.
The Chamber Alliance has been firm in our belief that DDAs are an important local development tool for northern Michigan and other rural communities around the state, and have communicated the following thoughts on the legislation:
The Alliance will continue to be vocal about defending this important economic development tool.