The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance released the following statement on the State of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget which included 147 vetoes from Governor Whitmer.
“Our organization is here to serve the interests of our region, and we are very concerned about the status of the FY 2019-20 budget with the Governor’s vetoes.
The current budget harms our Four Pillars for Rural Prosperity agenda in many ways:
These priorities are serious issues for northern Michigan, and we are disappointed to see them used as bargaining chips for budget negotiations.
We urge our legislative leaders to go back to the drawing board to find an agreement that will fund these critical rural programs – all of which were included in either the FY 2019-20 Executive Budget proposal, and the legislative budgets passed at the end of September.”
Questions can be directed to Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our ask was to support the Senate version of Section 99h of the School Aid budget. WE SUCCEDED!
On September 24, 2019, the Michigan House and Senate passed a budget compromise that included language and funding for a number of competitive robotics programs used throughout northern Michigan.
Last year, Chambers were successful in seeking changes to Section 99h of the 2018-2019 School Aid Fund budget allowed for both FIRST and VEX competitive robotics programs to be eligible for state robotics grants. In addition, legislators boosted the eligible statewide grant pool to $4 million for both VEX and FIRST Robotics programs.
These small but significant changes led to explosive growth in both the number of new teams and competitions in over 450 school districts around the state. That meant: more districts, more students, more excitement, and more STEM.
What’s even more exciting is that nearly half of that growth came from students and school districts in northern Michigan.
Some of the rough growth numbers from last year’s budget:
This is another budget win for northern Michigan. Thanks are in order for Senator Wayne Schmidt and Representative Aaron Miller – both chairs of the School Aid budget – for their work on finding a compromise on the language and funding to keep STEM activities moving forward in northern Michigan.
More policy with a rural focus.
That was the key message to legislators from partners of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance who made the trip to Lansing for the Alliance’s annual Lobby Day in Lansing.
The Alliance peppered legislative offices with their Four Pillars of Rural Prosperity legislative agenda.
In recent weeks, the Alliance has also been successful in starting the process to get legislation drafted for its following priorities:
Major Talking Points
You can help us by sharing these key points with legislators and community leaders:
The Chamber Alliance is looking forward to sharing further updates in the future as legislation is drafted and introduced and committee hearings are set.