Create Great Policy Update: Road Funding and Automobile Insurance
The Chamber’s Executive Committee acted on two key issues last week: road funding and auto no-fault.
Below are brief summaries of the Chamber’s positions. This reflects the work of not only the Executive Committee and Board, but members engaged in our Chamber issue committees and Public Policy Council.
If you have questions about these positions or our process, please contact Andy Johnston, VP of Government Affairs at [email protected] or 616.771.0335.
In coming to our position on road funding, the Chamber looked at four key elements: (1) resources needed, (2) how the funds should be raised, (3) the implementation period and (4) resource allocation.
The conclusion? Good roads are good for business, and Michigan must do better. The Grand Rapids Chamber will support a significant, sustainable and meaningful funding increase for Michigan’s transportation infrastructure.
A plan to fix our roads and bridges should reverse the decline of our freeways and commercial corridors, while supporting local investment and public transit.
The funding for these improvements should come from prioritizing current and future revenues, and user-fee increases. The increase should be phased in over several years to allow for certainty for planning, lower the risk of inflationary pressures and limit the burden of today’s talent shortage.
The cost of auto insurance is unaffordable for some and Michigan can do better. Yet, we have an ecosystem of providers and benefits built around this more than 45-year-old law. Drastic changes may shift costs on to private payers of health care, namely employers, and the cost of health care is already frequently cited as a top issue for Chamber members. Reforms could also impact regional health care resources and shift costs from other parts of the state to West Michigan.
Therefore, to advance reform, the Chamber supports efforts to make the cost of auto insurance more affordable, while maintaining Michigan’s position as a national leader in auto insurance coverage.
The Chamber supports reforms that will:
- Focus on fraud, abuse and overuse of medical services, attendant care and transportation to medical appointments.
- Enforce the legal requirement to purchase and maintain auto insurance.
- Improve rate review to improve claim payments and reduce the number of lawsuits.
- Tackle lawsuit abuse, especially in the area of Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
- Address the transparency and market-based nature of fee schedules and PIP choice options that do not unreasonably shift costs to employers, other parts of the state, put important health care resources at risk or jeopardize our position as a leader in auto insurance coverage.
- The state should not mandate auto insurance rates.
The Chamber has been and will continue to share this position with key stakeholders and policymakers. We will work within the boundaries of these member-driven positions to deliver the best possible outcomes for the West Michigan business community as we work to create a thriving West Michigan for all.