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2021 Legislative Priorities Focus on COVID-19 Business Recovery, Improving the State’s Talent Pipeline, and More

As a new President, Congress, and state legislature ramp up, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s government relations team advocates for its members’ key priorities. This year, it is no surprise that responding to COVID-19, helping businesses recover, and rebuilding the economy are of paramount importance. The priorities laid out below are not in listed order of significance but reflect the bipartisan work leaders must prioritize to overcome the many challenges facing Michigan. The government relations team will work to influence the issues policymakers pursue. Still, it will work closely with Republicans and Democrats at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that these issues are at the forefront of the state’s agenda.

Respond:

  • Support reasonable federal-level economic stimulus to support struggling businesses and employees, including PPP and Workshare.
  • Promote policies that allow companies to adapt to safe operations while staying financially viable, like tax relief for purchases of PPE.
  • Support policies that encourage a safe return to employment and protect the safety net from fraudulent claims.
  • Maintain necessary emergency provisions necessary due to COVID-19.
  • Maintain scientifically recommended preventive health measures.
  • Protect employers that are following best practices from frivolous lawsuits.

Recover:

  • Support policies that solve housing challenges and expand employment opportunities for people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and others facing systemic barriers to employment.
  • Incentivize domestic manufacturing of next-generation automation, and advocate for the Michigan Reconnect program, that advances the Chamber’s goal of 60% degree attainment by 2030.
  • Advocate for and support policies that harness Michigan’s growing cannabis industry while maintaining the freedoms of employers.
  • Support increased federal investment in domestic manufacturing of medical supplies and scientific research.

Rebuild:

  • Support policies the promote racial justice and economic equity in our region and state.
  • Promote private investment, along with state and federal grants, to further statewide broadband expansion and improvement for education and employment opportunities.
  • Encourage Congressional focus on infrastructure investment that includes regional priorities such as transit, mobility, and water infrastructure.
  • Increase dedicated infrastructure funding from all levels of government while relieving pressure on the general fund.
  • Modernize and implement regional transit.
  • Promote employers that maintain and build their workforce in Michigan with incentives such as Good Jobs for Michigan.
  • Promote policies that increase health insurance access while opposing policies that drive up costs for employers and individuals.
  • Maintain rigorous K-12 standards that allow students to succeed in a global economy and address COVID-19 related learning loss.
  • Create greater accountability and quality for existing charter schools.
  • Create pathways to career opportunities in the automotive industry that develop high-skilled talent, including utilization of global opportunities through immigration reform and the attraction of international students.
  • Promote smart trade policy, including continued USMCA participation and resisting short-sighted trade restrictions or tariffs that inhibit growth.
  • Support policies that allow Michigan to continue to lead in R&D testing for next-generation mobility solutions and other emerging sectors of the industry.
  • Continue to support policies that support the goal of 60% degree attainment by 2030, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and professional certificates.
  • Support policies that enhance Michiganders’ faith in elections and disincentivize destructive partisanship.

These priorities were presented and validated by the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors. For more information on the Chamber’s legislative priorities or advocacy process, please reach out to Brad Williams, vice president of Government Relations.