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Transit, Education Reform Among Chamber’s 2018 Legislative Priorities to Advance Region

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors recently adopted its legislative priorities for 2018. These 16 priorities, which are critical to economic development and growth of the region, include investing in infrastructure, support for a reliable regional transit system, maintaining rigorous testing and accountability at the K-12 level, and support for high-skilled immigration policies that allow employers access to global talent. This year’s priorities are aligned with the five pillars that guide the Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy to position the region for global competitiveness.

People:

  • Maintain Michigan’s pro-growth tax structure.
  • Maintain a legislative and regulatory climate that provides reliable and affordable energy for Michigan’s businesses.
  • Continue to support reforms for Michigan’s criminal justice system that reduce lengthy and costly sentences.
  • Support policies that expand employment opportunities for veterans, people with disabilities, and other groups who are chronically underemployed.

Community:

  • Increase dedicated infrastructure funding and relieve pressure on the General Fund.
  • Lead educational, legislative and political efforts to prioritize a regional transit system for the Detroit region.
  • Promote policies that increase health insurance enrollment and provide adequate government support, while opposing policies that drive up costs for employers and individuals.

Talent:

  • Maintain rigorous K-12 standards, such as the Michigan Merit Curriculum and the Common Core that allow students to succeed in the global economy.
  • Support charter schools and parental choice by creating greater accountability, particularly in the city of Detroit, including but not limited to, the Detroit Education Commission and a State School Reform Office.
  • Promote policies that increase accessibility to a bachelor’s degree.

Global Connectivity:

  • Promote federal policies that fix our broken immigration system and provide businesses with access to global talent.
  • Resist efforts to increase the income threshold of high-skilled visas, and oppose efforts to reduce legal high-skilled immigration.

Next-Generation Mobility:

  • Support continued U.S. involvement in NAFTA and encourage the U.S. trade representative and members of Congress to support the integrated North American automotive industry during negotiations.
  • Support policies that allow Michigan to continue to lead in R&D testing for connected and automated vehicles.
  • Create pathways to career opportunities in the automotive industry to develop talent in the digital economy.

The Chamber conducts one of the most aggressive advocacy programs anywhere, fighting for its members and giving them a voice at all levels of government, from Detroit to Lansing to Washington D.C. Continually ranked as one of the top advocacy organizations in the state, the Chamber’s advocacy program focuses on supporting legislation and lawmakers that help create an environment where businesses thrive.