MichMash: Former Lt. Gov. Calley On Why Mackinac Matters

June 4, 2019

National Public Radio

Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth

Mackinac Island — fudge, bicycles, horses, and thousands of schmoozing bigwigs.

That last part is applicable at least one week of the year after Memorial Day weekend. The Mackinac Policy Conference is an annual gathering of some of the most influential politicians, business leaders, and non-profit folks at the Grand Hotel sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

We know what you’re thinking: The Swamp on an island (pardon the terminology). Who really cares about the Mackinac Policy Conference if you’re not a policy wonk or a business type?

It turns out, there are plenty of reasons to pay attention to what goes on each year.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, hosts Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher speak with someone who has not only attended several of these conferences, but has been directly involved in some of the major wheeling and dealing that goes on each year.

Former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a Republican who is now president of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM), talks with Jake and Cheyna about all that happens at the Grand Hotel and why it’s important to Michigan politics and the economy.

Listen to the conversation here

Mackinac plants seeds for state’s future

June 2, 2019

Crain’s Detroit Business

Patti Poppe

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference gave us the opportunity to hear from policymakers like our new governor and some potential future national news breakers like Stacey Abrams of Georgia and John Kasich of Ohio. Additionally, hearing from people such as Mayor Mike Duggan, our federal legislators and the quadrant leaders in Michigan solidified how much all our thought leaders want to prepare, grow and love Michigan.

We have a lot to do to keep Michigan moving forward, and it is much more likely to happen when we stand for One Michigan. Our state is competing on a global stage for prosperity, opportunity and equity for all of our citizens. We must stand together for our collective futures, for our state’s prosperity and for our children’s opportunities, right here at home. This year’s conference was an opportunity to clarify our mission and take our to-do’s to the next level both today and for the next generation.

On Mackinac Island, leaders champion working together

May 29, 2019


Rick Albin

The first full day of the Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island highlighted the idea of working together.

Officials are hoping Michigan is in a new era in divided government that produces results for the state. There was some evidence of that when Republican leadership and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreed to a deal to reform the state’s auto insurance law last week.

“When we meet our obligations as Michiganders, every one of us benefits. We have a historic agreement. We’ve done more in five months than anyone’s been able to accomplish on that in five years,” Whitmer said Wednesday. “I think this bodes well for where we are headed in our state and fixing roads and education.”

However, that big compromise did not sit well with all stakeholders. Several providers of long-term and critical care health services worry about the impact the law will have going forward.

But that bipartisan deal did seem to set the tone for other big endeavors. For example, Whitmer rolled out an ambitious plan to have multiple autonomous vehicles built and operating in just over a year.

That will fall to developers, universities and manufacturers already working on the technology, which will be featured at the 2020 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Flashpoint 6/2/19: State leaders address Michigan’s future at Mackinac Policy Conference

June 2, 2019

Click On Detroit

Devin Scillian

State leaders sat down with Flashpoint host Devin Scillian to address key issues facing Michigan at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week.

Segment One:

Democratic US Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan’s 12th congressional district, and Republican US Rep. Frederick Upton of Michigan’s 6th congressional district.

Segment Two:

Georgia politician, Stacey Yvonne Abrams.

Segment Three

Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson.

View the segments and full article here


Michigan Governor Signs Overhaul to Cut High Auto Premiums

May 30, 2019

U.S. News

Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law an overhaul of Michigan‘s car insurance system that will let drivers forego unlimited medical benefits to cover crash injuries.

The Democratic governor signed the bill Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference on Mackinac Island. She was joined by lawmakers and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Whitmer says it’s a “historic day” because the cost of auto insurance will go down.

View the full article here

MDOT Director / Mackinac Policy Conference / Detroit Civility Project

May 23, 2019

One Detroit

In this episode of One Detroit,

Mackinac Policy Conference: Christy and Stephen preview the topics that will take center stage at next week’s Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Plus, Conference Chair Patti Poppe of Consumers Energy and the Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah offer their perspectives on this year’s agenda.

Detroit Civility Project: In a special One Detroit report, we get an example of the conversations that Stephen and Nolan’s Detroit Civility Project with the Detroit Regional Chamber is generating.

It’s spring — and time to talk policy

May 12, 2019

Crain’s Detroit Business

KC Crain

The weather doesn’t feel like it, but it is definitely spring. And spring in Detroit means it’s time to head up to Mackinac Island for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

Last week, Detroit Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah and conference Chair and Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe stopped by our office to fill us in on the latest agenda.

You can tell Patti is absolutely interested in covering Detroit issues but really sees this as an opportunity to bring the entire state together.

She is quick to point out that education is not just a Detroit problem but a real statewide concern. This year, for the first time, an entire afternoon at the conference will be dedicated to education.

Shirkey: Whitmer ‘moving the goal posts’ on no-fault reform

May 9, 2019

Crain’s Detroit Business

Chad Livengood


With the annual Mackinac Policy Conference about two weeks away, the possibility of a grand bargain on no-fault and road funding being hatched on the porch of the Grand Hotel seems remote.

These two sides aren’t even talking to each other directly about the high points of the highly complicated issue of auto insurance.

Whitmer argued allowing her insurance department to administratively prohibit the use of non-driving factors for setting rates doesn’t “cut it.”

“The public would be furious if something was passed into law and were told a problem was fixed and it wasn’t,” Whitmer told reporters at the Capitol. “That’s exactly what happened on the last gas tax — they were told the roads were fixed and everyone knew darn well they weren’t. I’m not going to play games.”

And Shirkey made it clear Thursday that the deadline to negotiate a resolution is fast approaching.

“This is days, not weeks, before it goes to the governor,” Shirkey said. “… And there’s no reason to let it sit around because 7 million policyholders are waiting to embrace the savings opportunties that we’re providing them.”

View the full article here