Game-Changing Advocacy in the First Half of 2019
The Chamber’s Government Affairs team is working with members to continue our momentum in West Michigan with effective advocacy on the issues that matter to you most: talent, fiscal policy, regulations, health care, economic development and more.
Here are some of the key highlights from the first half of 2019:
71 Government Affairs Member Assists through June. Key wins include: helping members receive licenses/permits that allowed them to open; finding transportation and talent solutions; cutting through red tape at local, state and federal level, and more.
- Chamber leadership met multiple times with Governor Whitmer on State Budget priorities and road funding.
- Produced Health Care Summit addressing key topics like cost, prescription drugs, best practices and mental health.
- Released 2019 Government Affairs Survey Result that helps guide our work on talent and local issues.
- Hosted meeting for members with the Consul Generals of Canada and Mexico.
- Convened Roundtable with Congressman Huizenga on trade and tariff issues.
- Hosted Speaker Chatfield for meeting with the President’s Club.
- New MDOT Director Paul Ajegba discussed the 45-cent gas tax proposal with members at the February Breakfast with Legislators.
- Honored outgoing GVSU President Tom Haas at Breakfast with Legislators.
- Participated in DC Fly-In with Great Lakes Metro Chamber Coalition to advocate on core policy issues, including water quality, immigration reform, trade, and transportation and infrastructure.
- Co-hosted roundtable with Governor Whitmer on expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.
- Facilitated visit by US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to Lacks Enterprises.
Key Local Action:
- Hosted City Manager Mark Washington for a discussion on the city budget as well as multiple tours of member businesses throughout the City.
- Defeated an unnecessary and punitive per-space parking fee in Grand Rapids.
- Engaged in discussions on the new Police Chief for Grand Rapids.
Key State Action:
- Fought for expansion of Going Pro, formerly the Skilled Trade Training Fund (SSTF).
- Defeated a new 6 percent income tax on businesses organized as partnerships, LLCs and S corporations.
- Supported key criminal justice reforms that have been signed by the Governor.
- Assisted in passing legislation to make e-cigarettes illegal for minors.
- Hosted Doug Ross, Senior Advisor of Michigan Prosperity for a discussion on Governor Whitmer’s two talent initiatives, which the Chamber Board moved to support- Michigan Reconnect and MI Opportunity Scholarships.
- Supporting key talent bills to address members’ needs including A-F and Michigan Merit Curriculum Flexibility
- Testified with members to oppose legislation that will eliminate the valuable WorkKeys® assessment and National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) from Michigan high schools.
- Defeated amendment that threatened to halt work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
- Selected as the statewide lead for Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships tasked with leading a broader coalition around workforce development policies.
Key Federal Action:
- Fighting for adoption of the USMCA, the new NAFTA agreement.
- Weighed in on the negative impact of tariffs to West Michigan business.
- Leading West Michigan support for the expansion of the Soo Locks.
- Supported efforts that address comprehensive immigration reform, particularly in ending the uncertainly around the DACA program.
- Successfully fought for funding to be restored for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
- Advancing prescription drug reform policy positions.