Legislative Priorities

2018 Legislative Priorities

Rural Business & Community Development

Work on a regional level to create, support, and promote programs and incentives

compatible with rural and small metro areas.

• Support Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) and Tax Increment

Financing (TIF).

• Support solutions for long-term environmental cleanup and redevelopment.

• Initiate policy or legislative change to make MEDC business development

programs more scalable to fit rural and small business needs.

• Support regulatory changes and partnerships that incentivize affordable

high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Access to Child Care

Access to quality and affordable child care is becoming a challenge for attracting and retaining a

younger workforce. In many areas, that challenge is becoming a crisis. Data from a study in one

area of the northern Michigan region showed a 40% gap in licensed care for infants and toddlers.

Childcare providers also shared their frustrating experiences with regulatory burdens and the

challenges of paying staff living wages while trying to keep rates affordable for families.

Our legislators can help:

• Decrease regulatory burden on providers.

• Invest in provider capacity for Quality Care.

• Initiate incentives to allow businesses and organizations to provide on-site childcare.

• Ensure maximum federal funding is being leveraged by the state.

Talent Attraction and Training

Northern Michigan is facing a talent deficit in many key and growing industries.

The legislature should:

• Promote investment in the Skilled Trades Training Fund and other talent initiatives.

• Ensure STEM programming and support that is compatible with the needs of rural areas.

• Support programs and remove barriers that allow universities, community colleges and

K-12 schools to assist businesses with training and talent retention.

Workforce Housing Incentives

Building “affordable” and “missing middle” housing options is an issue experienced

across northern Michigan. Given our largely rural nature, finding solutions to housing

issues with statewide programs has been more challenging than in many urban areas

that are better equipped to develop large scale housing options. The Northern Michigan

Chamber Alliance, working with regional and statewide partners, will:

• Engage the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA),

Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and state

legislators to find scalable solutions for rural housing issues.

• Initiate new programs or partnerships that can assist rural communities in tracking their critical workforce housing shortages.

2017 Budget Priorities

  • Maintain Pure Michigan campaign funding levels – $36 million
  • Narrow the gap in K-12 per pupil funding
  • Increased investment in impactful programs that provide skill training and talent attraction
    • Increase of $20 million for the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF)
    • Increase of $10 million for P.A.T.H. worker training program
  • Alpena Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant – $205,000 for Starlight Beach Splash Pad & Beach Improvements
  • Northern Michigan Community College Capital Outlay Projects
    • Northwestern Michigan College 21st Century Innovation Center capital outlay project
    • Alpena Community College Center for Health Sciences and Student Success Capital Outlay project
    • North Central Michigan College Capital Outlay project


The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is committed to:

  • Making it easier for businesses in northern Michigan to be competitive.
  • Helping strong business sectors remain strong and continue job creation in our region.
  • Ensuring our workforce is educated and prepared for the future needs of northern Michigan businesses.
  • Promoting investment in our public transportation and business infrastructure, including energy development, road systems, harbors, airports and broadband connectivity.

Your voice makes a  difference.

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance Executives, Staff, Board members and Government Relations committees are called to action to support these priorities by educating members to advocate the priorities with legislators.

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