The Legislature’s 2016 lame-duck session was marked by both bipartisan agreement on tough policy issues as well as contentious attempts to solve ongoing state problems that nonetheless split along party lines.
As Michigan legislators prepare to enter their final session of the year, policy watchers across the state are closely monitoring legislation that could get a vote in the lame duck session.
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce members share concerns over energy, health care policy and talent development, and those are the issues the organization will focus on in 2016, according to Andy Johnston, the group’s vice president of government and corporate affairs.
Business groups in Lansing and West Michigan have a full legislative agenda this fall, with at least five topics they hope lawmakers will take action on and two ballot initiatives they hope Michigan voters will reject. While road funding and contentious ballot initiatives may be grabbing the most headlines, business groups also remain focused on fundamental issues involving third-grade reading and even how state agencies deal with unclaimed property.
After lawmakers reworked their repeal of Michigan’s personal property tax law to remove one potential source of opposition, tax reform proponents have now turned their focus to passing an August ballot proposal that’s required to make the changes stick.
If nothing else, Gov. Rick Snyder’s focus on improving funding for Michigan’s aging roads and bridges positions the issue toward the top of the agenda in Lansing.
After securing a partial victory in a long-sought goal of repealing Michigan’s personal property tax, business advocates next need to turn their attention to convincing voters to go along with the plans.
If nothing else, Chuck Hadden views Michigan’s rise in a national ranking of state business tax climates as further proof that the state is changing for the better.
Business advocates view a proposal to reform Michigan’s personal property tax as another solid step toward improving the state’s business climate and competitiveness.