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MICHauto and Chamber Advocacy Spurs Passage of Economic Development Package

On Thursday, Dec. 9, the Michigan Senate overwhelmingly passed bipartisan economic development legislation 27-10, to create significant new economic development tools for the state a day after the bill passed the House. This package of bills called the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, was introduced in response to Ford’s recent battery plant announcement and the need for Michigan to better compete for future opportunities.  

With MICHauto and the Chamber pushing for a more robust economic development toolkit, the Governor’s administration and Republican leadership have been working productively to move beyond Ford’s decision and position the state to win future transformational projects and retain its global automotive leadership. 

What is in the legislation  

  • HB5602/ SB769 creates the vehicle by which funding for the site readiness program and critical industry investment fund will be authorized to the Michigan Strategic Fund for transformational projects. 
  • HB 5603/ SB 770 creates a strategic site readiness program to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance for the purpose of creating investment-ready sites to attract and promote investment in this state.  
  • HB 5604/ SB771 creates a critical industry investment fund that will allow Michigan to make game-changing investments to businesses that will be critical to closing deals and de-risking project economics in creating and preserving qualified jobs in the state and generating significant capital investment.  

“Winning new investment and ensuring Michigan remains the leader in electric and autonomous vehicle technology is critical to our state’s long-term economic growth and competitiveness,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MICHauto and vice president of Automotive & Mobility Initiatives for the Chamber.  “This legislation will help Michigan compete and win its share of transformational projects. The Legislature should be applauded for its bipartisan work on these bills – given the unprecedented investment being made in the automotive industry, it could not have come at a more critical time.” 

The legislation would create a site readiness program and a mechanism to fund it, allowing the state to make game-changing investments critical to closing economic development deals. MICHauto and the Chamber have joined together with other like-minded business organizations to work in coordination with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Governor’s office to find a bipartisan path forward in Lansing to accomplish this important and time-sensitive goal.  

Critical Advocacy Efforts Continue 

The passage in the House and Senate demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats can still find common ground to tackle substantial issues. The bipartisan consensus reflects the importance of these bills for the state of Michigan, the future of its signature automotive industry, and the state’s business climate – something voters overwhelmingly support according to a statewide poll released this week by the Chamber, Business Leaders for Michigan, and Michigan Manufacturers Association 

The Chamber and MICHauto were able to deploy the full advocacy team in Lansing and the Detroit Region to connect with legislators and push for the passage of the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund bills. MICHauto’s expertise provided legislators with information on why these incentives were critical to secure the state’s continued leadership in the global automotive industry. Finally, MICHauto and the Chamber were instrumental throughout negotiations by utilizing the strength of our bipartisan relationships to secure passage.  

The legislative package’s next stop is Governor Whitmer’s desk. The Chamber and MICHauto will continue to advocate for prompt signing and update members on the progress of this important legislation.