Business and environmental groups were equally surprised at one of Rick Snyder’s final acts as Michigan governor: Signing a bill making it more difficult for state agencies to adopt rules stricter than federal regulations. But while environmental groups say the move jeopardizes natural resources and public health, business advocates downplay the concerns.
It’s been two years since the Legislature passed sweeping energy reform bills, yet the laws remain front and center for those working behind the scenes on energy policy.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, with more than 6,000 members that collectively employ 1 million people, stands as one of the more influential advocacy organizations in Lansing. As Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer prepares to take office in January with a legislature remaining in control of the Republicans, Michigan Chamber CEO Rich Studley says it’s unfair to pre-judge her as a friend or foe of business. Although the new governor and her party historically have been on the other side of business issues from the Michigan Chamber, Studley believes “she has the potential to keep our state moving forward with a different view than the current administration.”
Business and clean energy advocates are aligned in support of state legislation that clarifies the tax-exempt status of small-scale renewable energy systems.
Backers of a law mandating paid sick leave in Michigan say they’ll launch a new petition drive to put the issue on the 2020 ballot if lawmakers weaken it during the lame-duck legislative session in Lansing.
Bills to scale back new state laws mandating paid sick leave and increasing the minimum wage are top of mind for local and statewide business groups in this year’s legislative lame duck session.
Marijuana for recreational use by adults could become a $1.4 billion industry in Michigan in the years ahead.
Major Michigan business groups say a statewide ballot initiative to change the way legislative districts are drawn is flawed and unnecessary, but supporters believe the plan would help achieve shared policy goals and restore public faith in politics.
Citing onerous and biased rule-making functions at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce has long sought to reform the agency’s regulatory process.
Business advocates in Lansing say legislation to add work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients could offer a boost to the labor pool in Michigan during times of low unemployment.