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December 4, 2012: Michigan Senate Passes Regional Transit Authority; Chamber Board Member Tricia Keith Named Executive of the Year

Michigan Senate Passes Regional Transit Authority, Positive Step for Michigan Economy

The news that the Michigan Senate passed legislation to create of a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) last week comes as a positive step for the business climate and for economic development in Michigan. The five-bill package still has to pass through the House of Representatives. The creation of the RTA would coordinate city and suburban bus service, begin the creation of a bus rapid transit system, and potentially bring in millions in federal and private dollars for the creation of a streetcar line.

The creation of an RTA remains one of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s top policy priorities and the Chamber is very supportive of the recent movement in the Legislature on this issue. To read more on the RTA, click here. For more on the Chamber’s other top advocacy priorities, click here.

Chamber Congratulates Tricia Keith, Names National Management Association’s Executive of the Year

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates board member and Senior Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Tricia Keith for being named the first female recipient of the National Management Association’s executive of the year award. Keith is being honored for her leadership and career accomplishments in business and philanthropy. To read more about Keith’s career and award,click here.

Register Today for Opportunity Detroit – The Chamber’s Membership Meeting and Holiday Reception, Dec. 18

Register today for Opportunity Detroit – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual membership meeting and holiday reception taking place Tuesday,December 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Gem Theatre in Detroit. Join the Chamber for this event to hear from the people making decisions to invest in Detroit and what they are finding when they do, including: John Fikany of Microsoft Corporation; Jacques Panis of Shinola; Jason Raznick of Benzinga; Nancy Schlichting of Henry Ford Health System; and Mike Webster of Kelly Services, Inc.

From talent, resources and quality of life, to one of the best business tax structures in the nation, the Chamber is bringing business insiders together to share Detroit’s story and define the role you can play in encouraging its continued transformation. Click here to reserve your spot today.

State Treasurer Dillon Says Emergency Manager Replacement Law Imminent

According to the Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS), State Treasurer Andy Dillon has confirmed a replacement law for the emergency manager (EM) law, which was repealed in the November election, is coming but may not be ready for the lame duck session. The replacement law will address assistance for financially struggling school districts and municipalities and may give locals more options than the previous law, including the option to declare bankruptcy.

The Detroit Regional Chamber remains supportive of the EM law and advocated for Proposal 1, which would have upheld the law, during the election. The Chamber will continue to support a law that will sustain fiscal responsibility in failing schools and municipalities as it moves through the Legislature.

Chamber CEO Discusses Importance of Collaboration at Grand Valley State University

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah spoke at Grand Valley State University last week to discuss the importance of solving Michigan’s problems and continuing to move the state forward through collaboration. Baruah highlighted the efforts Gov. Rick Snyder has made in higher education and talent combined with the strong portfolio of Michigan-based business as being critical to moving the state in the right direction. He also touted the importance of the rejection of the Michigan ballot proposals earlier this year to keeping the state from moving in reverse. To view a video of his speech from the Holland Sentinelclick here. To read coverage in Crain’s Detroit Businessclick here.

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Address National Debt Crisis

The Detroit Regional Chamber is urging its members to take action by calling on lawmakers to find a fiscally responsible solution to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff while developing a long-term debt reduction plan. The uncertainty and partisan gridlock swirling around the debt crisis is jeopardizing our fragile economic recovery and the Chamber is doing its part as the Michigan Chapter of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

The time for action is now – our fragile economic recovery cannot risk ongoing gridlock in Washington and the blame game of political parties. Our business, employees and children deserve clear and concrete action now to secure a more prosperous future for us all. To contact your federal lawmakers, click here.

Chamber Hosts Business Leaders for Exclusive Look at Michigan’s Defense Industry

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted an exclusive, half-day insider’s look at the state of the defense industry for 20 regional business leaders. The tour, the first in a new Chamber series, included site visits and presentations from leaders of the Michigan-based defense industry and attendees received an in-depth look at why Michigan is a premier destination for the defense and homeland securities industries.

Speakers included Major General Michael J. Terry, Commanding General of U.S. Army TACOM LCMC, and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and site visits included trips to General Dynamics Land Systems Maneuver Collaboration Center, the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and BAE Systems. The Detroit Free Press’ Tom Walsh participated in the day’s events and chronicled his experience here.

Rock Ventures Purchases Chamber Headquarters Building

The Detroit Regional Chamber is pleased to welcome Rock Ventures, LLC, a Dan Gilbert-owned company, to One Woodward Avenue in Detroit, where the Chamber is a tenant. Gilbert has purchased the building, his 10th downtown Detroit building purchase in less than two years, and hopes to greatly increase occupancy and maintain his commitment to supporting the city’s continued growth. Click here to hear Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah discuss the purchase with WDET’s Pat Batcheller. To read coverage in the Detroit Newsclick here.

Final Reminder to Help Michigan Build a Stronger, Healthier and More Business-Friendly Economy

The Detroit Regional Chamber is participating in the first Michigan 2013 Economic Outlook Survey along with more than 70 organizations who have joined together from around the state to gain a better understanding of how to accelerate business and job growth in Michigan. This venture will help the participating groups in the Michigan business community to better understand your business priorities and determine what services will be valuable to your business in 2013.

Please take a few quick minutes to fill out a short survey, here, and share your business insight. By providing your feedback in this survey, you are part of a statewide collaborative effort to help Michigan become a stronger, healthier and more business-friendly economy in 2013.