Brad Williams Testifies on Infrastructure Funding to Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee

The following is testimony from Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams to the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee on Jan. 23, 2020.

Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Brad Williams, I am the Vice President of Government Relations at the Detroit Regional Chamber. Some of you have visited the Chamber’s office in Downtown Detroit and you know that we have one of the most stunning views of any Chamber of Commerce in the entire country. As we do our work, promoting economic growth in our region, we overlook the Detroit River and literally watch commerce flow. Across Jefferson Avenue sits the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, which represents an opportunity to capitalize on a set of unique assets in our region.

The Chamber supports SB 667, because modern infrastructure is a tool to grow a modern economy. The Detroit region has many existing and future infrastructure assets that will allow for ongoing economic growth and modern port facilities with accelerate that. Michigan’s transportation infrastructure built to support our manufacturing economy is a potential economic advantage. We have redundant highways, meaning that truck traffic has the ability to avoid congestion, we have strong rail infrastructure, we will soon be home to three international crossings for commercial activity including the most modern in North America. However, the policy choices we make will determine whether or not we are able to leverage these assets as successfully as we would like.

That is why the Chamber supports SB 667 to allow for greater investment in port facilities. That is why the Chamber supports efforts to dramatically increase our investment in preserving our surface transportation assets. That is why the Chamber supports efforts to create a regional transit system in our region. Because regions that can effectively move people and goods are going to continue to have a leg up and be more competitive into 2030 and beyond. We encourage your support of SB 667.