The Detroit Regional Chamber is a founding member of Great Lakes Growth (GLG) and believes the clean energy transition must be implemented responsibly—and focused on energy affordability and reliability. GLG has called on the Michigan Senate to speak up for state taxpayers who will be hit with higher costs if expensive new energy bills are rushed to the Governor’s desk this week.
Learn more in the release below.
Nov. 7, 2023
Great Lakes Growth (GLG), a thoughtful coalition of pro-economic growth advocates praised for “bridging political gaps that have separated metro Detroit and West Michigan,” called on the Michigan Senate to speak up for state taxpayers who will be hit with higher costs if expensive new energy bills are rushed to the governor’s desk this week, undermining the inflation-fighting tax cuts it passed just a few months ago. “Senators began 2023 by passing major tax cuts for seniors and workers to lessen the impact of inflationary price increases that are hammering budgets for everything from groceries to mortgages,” said Great Lakes Growth spokesperson John Sellek. “Ending 2023 by passing clean energy bills that raise costs for families and small businesses will only undermine their earlier efforts to help people pay their bills. Senators should speak up now.” State senators have previously spoken out about protecting Michigan from high costs and bad government policies.
“As Senator Veronica Klinefelt has said, ‘the taxpayers always get screwed, unless someone speaks up.’ We are certainly in agreement on that,” West Michigan Policy Forum policy advisor Jase Bolger explained. “Because these cost-raising new energy bills were passed by the House in the dark of night, it is time for the Michigan Senate to speak up in opposition to the massive cost increases contained in these bills,” said Bolger. Energy Bills Undermine the Senate’s Earlier Votes to Reduce the Pain of Inflation Seeking “to address high inflation felt by families” by “putting money back in peoples’ pockets,” Michigan leaders announced a plan in January to cut state taxes between $1,000 – $3,000 per year for seniors and workers. The Senate took the lead on legislation that would phase out the retirement tax to put “an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of 500,000 households.”
Michigan’s Senate also took the lead on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. “700,000 Michiganders—those who have the hardest time affording the basics—will see an average of $3,150 dollars back in their pockets starting this year.” However, even as inflationary costs remain a problem, the Senate may today finalize passage of an energy package that will eat away at any financial advantage these tax breaks provided. “The Michigan Senate has a choice this week: It can speak up for job creators and residents who already struggle to make ends meet, or it can rush energy bills that will, without a doubt, raise costs and leave Michigan’s economy worse off than it is today,” said Mike Alaimo, Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Environmental and Energy Affairs. “Passing these bills will undermine the Senate’s efforts to make life more affordable for hardworking Michigan families.” Brad Williams, Vice President of Government Relations at the Detroit Regional Chamber, added, “Legislators owe it to their constituents to be transparent about who is going to pay for their energy plan, not just repeating the parts that sound good in a press release. This legislation is going to cost Michigan’s residents and businesses more money, but ratepayers aren’t being told the whole story.”