The Detroit Regional Chamber has numerous ongoing initiatives advocating for the region as a whole as well as the business community. Here are the top 10 initiatives the Chamber is currently emphasizing:
- Transportation Funding The Chamber supports efforts in the Legislature and the Governor’s office to increase transportation funding by at least $1.4 billion annually. It costs approximately $1.4 billion annually for Michigan to maintain its current infrastructure, which will not necessarily allow for increased capacity. Proposed solutions include gas tax reform resulting in higher revenue, increased registration fees as well as innovative solutions including public-private partnerships and new user fee models.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Transition The Chamber supports legislation that will allow the transition of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to a non-profit mutual insurance company. This will allow BCBSM to modernize their rate setting process in addition to making them subject to state taxes.
- Detroit Fiscal CrisisThe Chamber will continue to support legislation that assists the city of Detroit in managing its fiscal crisis. In the past, the Chamber has supported legislation creating a Detroit Lighting Authority and the retention and replacement of the emergency manager law.
- Educational Achievement Authority Codification The Chamber has worked closely with the Education Achievement Authority, which was created through an interlocal agreement by Eastern Michigan University and Detroit Public Schools to capture low-performing schools and allow greater flexibility in transforming the schools by creating and converting charter schools. The Chamber supports efforts to codify this agreement into law, thereby making it permanent.
- 2008 Energy Law Defense The Chamber supports the 2008 Energy Law, which requires that 10 percent of Michigan’s energy come from renewable sources by 2015. It also includes limited customer choice and provides certainty for providers.
- Promise Zone Amendments The Chamber will work with the Governor’s office and key stakeholders to support and pass amendments to the Michigan Promise Zone Act that will allow for the creation and implementation of the Governor’s proposed scholarship program for Detroit students, which the Chamber has agreed to manage.
- Regulatory Streamlining The Chamber, working with the Office of Regulatory Reinvention, will continue to support legislation that streamlines and eliminates unnecessary regulations in all areas of state government where the current regulatory environment is harmful to Chamber members and an impediment to economic growth.
- Port Modernization and Ballast Water Regulatory Changes The Chamber is engaged with the Port of Detroit as well as key economic development and environmental stakeholders to ensure that the Port of Detroit and the regional maritime assets are maximized; including facilitating conversations leading to successful and reasonable port modernization as well as easing regulatory burdens on ballast water, which drive ocean going vessels out of Michigan.
- Lowering Health Care Costs for Business by Resisting New MandatesThe Chamber will continue to oppose efforts to impose new coverage mandates on employers.
- Support the Michigan Merit Curriculum Current state law reflects efforts driven by the business community to ensure students graduating from Michigan high schools are prepared to perform the jobs of today and tomorrow. The Chamber has opposed efforts to water down the Michigan Merit Curriculum, particularly requirements for four years of math. The Chamber believes a solid foundation in math is key to students being prepared to succeed in the current and future economy.