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December 11, 2012: Chamber Has Success in Lame Duck Session; Right-to-Work Moves Quickly in Legislature

Detroit Regional Chamber Makes Big Progress in Lame Duck Session

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s government relations team is playing a key role in the advancement of several pieces of legislation during the Michigan lame duck session.

The Chamber is seeing the fruits of several efforts with the recent movement on several Chamber-supported policy initiatives including the Regional Transit Authority, the personal property tax repeal, a new emergency manager law, legislation modernizing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to a mutual nonprofit insurer, and legislation allowing for a new $650 million project in downtown Detroit to replace the Joe Louis Arena. To read more on all of the Chamber-supported legislation seeing action during the lame duck session, click here.

Right-to-work Legislation Moves Quickly in Legislature

Last week, the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation establishing Michigan as a right-to-work state for private and public sector workers. The House must cast one more vote to finalize the process, which is expected to happen this week. Governor Rick Snyder has indicated his intent to sign both pieces of legislation.

As the Detroit Regional Chamber represents members on both sides of this contentious issue, the Chamber maintains a position of “no position” on these historic and controversial pieces of legislation. Right-to-work (also referred to as freedom to work) laws allow employees to opt out of financial support of a union as a condition of employment. Proponents of right-to-work legislation argue it protects workers from forced unionization and makes the state more attractive to business investment and job creation. Opponents of such laws claim right to work can depress wages and is too divisive of an issue to tackle.

Registration Now Open for 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference – Michigan’s Center Stage

Registration for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference is now open. The Chamber’s signature event to move Michigan forward is once again being held at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island from May 29 to May 31. Registering now for the 2013 Conference is a great way to maximize year-end dollars at a reduced registration fee.

Register today to be a part of the state’s premier public policy event focused on culture, education and the 21st century global market. The 2013 Conference will feature national experts who will challenge influential decision-makers to work collaboratively to create a globally competitive, financially attractive business environment in Michigan. Remember, registration prices will increase in 2013 and island hotels will begin taking reservations on February 1.

Michigan Ranks Third in Nation for High-Tech Job Growth

According to Engine Advocacy, Michigan ranks third in the nation for high-tech job growth from 2010 to 2011. As reported by the Detroit News, the state’s number of technology jobs increased by 6.9 percent during that year behind only Delaware and South Carolina. This is more than twice the national average, with the U.S. only experiencing 2.6 percent growth. Lansing experienced 17.6 percent employment growth in high-tech fields, ranking 6th out of the top 25 metropolitan areas. To read the full story, click here.

Don’t Miss Opportunity Detroit, Chamber Holiday Meeting and Reception, Next Tuesday

The Detroit Regional Chamber is bringing business insiders together to share and celebrate opportunities in the Detroit region and define the role members can play in encouraging its continued transformation during a one-of-a-kind celebration. Join the Chamber next week for Opportunity Detroit, the Chamber’s membership meeting and holiday reception, taking place on Tuesday, December 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Gem Theatre in Detroit.

Attendees will have a chance to hear from the people making decisions to invest in Detroit and what they are finding when they do, including: John Fikany, vice president, U.S. commercial sector, Microsoft Corporation; Jason Raznick, co-founder and CEO, Benzinga; Jacques Panis of Shinola; Nancy Schlichting, CEO, Henry Ford Health System; and Mike Webster, executive vice president, Kelly Services, Inc. For more information or to register for this signature year-end event, click here.

Spread the Word and Participate in Transportation Planning with SEMCOG Public Engagment Opportunities

Southeast Michigan’s large and complex transportation system is key to improving the Detroit region. This system supports continued economic recovery, environmental health, community revitalization and quality of life. In June 2013, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments’ General Assembly will adopt a long range transportation vision. Do your part to help spread the word on the importance of the region’s transportation system and participate in the planning process by clicking here. There are several public engagement opportunities available for you to get involved. Start by visiting SEMCOG’s website, here.

Chamber Leadership Attend Michigan Chronicle’s Legacy in Motion GalaDetroit Regional Chamber leadership recently participated in the annual Legacy in Motion Gala, hosted by the Michigan Chronicle at the Detroit Roostertail. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Mike Finney were honored at the gala as news-makers of the year during the event highlighting those making important contributions to the community’s economic growth and social well being. The gala, celebrating a region in transition, honored several community leaders including Chamber Board Chair and Henry Ford Health System CEO Nancy Schlichting, who accepted the company of the year award. To read more, click here.