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Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Serving as the state's business roundtable, Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities. Read more...

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Focusing on Michigan's Future

The Michigan Legislature accomplished a great deal this legislative session.  In addition to investing more in higher education so college could be more affordable, they balanced the budget on time and paid down debt.  They also paved the way for Detroit's financial restructuring and the establishment of a financial oversight process to help ensure sound fiscal practices are used in delivering city services.  All of these things are very important in making Michigan a stronger state and we commend the legislature for these actions.  But MI still needs a long-term, comprehensive funding solution for maintaining quality roads and bridges in our state.  At $154 per person, MI ranks last among all states for spending on roads. Sadly, MI ranks 45th in urban road condition and has 1,354 bridges that are considered structurally deficient. Right now, the price tag to bring our roads and bridges up to good condition according to most experts is close to $2 billion. That number grows every day we do not act. We have temporarily plugged the hole using general fund dollars, but this is not sustainable and comes at the expense of other important priorities.

Fixing our roads is central to our economic future, both to protect the jobs we already have and bring more jobs to the state. The condition of our transportation system causes existing MI companies and prospective businesses to question whether MI is the right location for making new investments. Access to good highways is one of the top factors in making site location decisions.  To compete for new jobs and investment, we need to invest in our roads and bridges now.  We can't continue to use general fund dollars on short-term fixes. We urge the legislature to continue to work on a comprehensive, long-term funding solution for fixing our roads.


Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Legislature’s action on FY 2015 University Budget

Provides most significant investment in higher education in over a decade, helps make college affordable

DETROIT, Mich. June 11, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, strongly applauded today final passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the state’s public universities. 

The budget provides a 5.9% increase for Michigan’s 15 public universities. Half of the funding is based on performance measures that reward schools for producing graduates to fill Michigan jobs and to control costs and increase affordability for Michigan students. In addition the budget provides a 5.9% increase for state programs to help students at private colleges pay for their tuition. 

Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO, explained the importance of the action, “Increasing funding for our public universities and tying that funding to affordability and performance has been a foundation of our Michigan Turnaround Plan and is critical to making Michigan a top ten state for jobs, personal income, and a healthy economy. In the next 10 years and beyond, Michigan will need more workers with education and training beyond high school to fill job demand. This budget will help make college more affordable so that Michigan students can get the skills necessary to fill those jobs.” 

Mr. Rothwell praised the Governor and legislative leaders for adopting a budget that marks the most significant investment in higher education in a decade. “As Michigan has begun to turn around and its economic condition has improved, Governor Snyder has made reinvesting in higher education a priority. In the legislature, Senator Tonya Schuitmaker and Representative Al Pscholka have been staunch advocates for increasing state support and making college more affordable for Michigan families. They all deserve tremendous credit for reversing a decade-long trend of disinvestment in one of our state’s most important resources.” 

“We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Snyder, our legislative leaders, and our state universities to produce the graduates we need and to make college even more affordable.”




Renaissance Venture Capital Fund Brings More Capital to Michigan Through Investment in River Cities Capital Funds

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 4, 2014  – Renaissance Venture Capital Fund (RVCF), the venture capital fund-of-funds created by some of Michigan’s largest organizations, announced today that it has invested in River Cities Capital Funds, a growth equity firm investing in healthcare and IT companies. 

“In addition to investing in the strongest Michigan-based venture capital funds, a goal of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is to attract leading national venture capital funds to become active in Michigan,” said Chris Rizik, CEO of the Fund. “RVCF is pleased to invest in River Cities Capital, as their skills complement our region’s growing success in creating innovative companies. River Cities Capital is a major growth equity investor and has a sterling reputation for supporting companies in healthcare and IT.”

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Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Senate’s Action to Help Detroit exit from Bankruptcy

DETROIT, Mich. June 3, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, applauded today the passage of legislation in the Michigan Senate to facilitate Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy. 

The 9-bill package of legislation provides a significant contribution to the comprehensive financial restructuring plan for Detroit and the establishment of a financial oversight process to ensure the maintenance of sound fiscal practices that will improve city services. 

Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, applauded the passage, “This package will help continue the momentum, progress and cooperation building in Detroit by helping the city get through the largest municipal bankruptcy in history in sound fiscal condition. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Senator Gretchen Whitmer provided tremendous leadership in securing passage of this important legislation. ”

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Business Leaders for Michigan endorses Rick Snyder for Governor

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich., May 29, 2014 – Today, the Business Leaders for Michigan’s Political Action Committee (PAC) announced its unanimous endorsement of Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan’s gubernatorial election in November. 

“Confidence is high from the business community that under the Governor’s leadership that Michigan is on the right path for a full recovery,” said Michael J. Jandernoa, Director, Perrigo and BLM PAC Co-Chair.  “The state is clearly turning around. Michigan’s fiscal house is in order, state long-term debt has been reduced, the burdensome Michigan Business Tax has been eliminated and our state is much more competitive.  The Governor has prioritized state investments in areas that will most help our economy grow, such as preschool education and higher education.” 

Indicating that the decision was based on his leadership on significant components of the Michigan Turnaround Plan, Cynthia J. Pasky, Founder, President & CEO, Strategic Staffing Solutions and BLM PAC member said, “Everything we do is measured against the Michigan Turnaround Plan, including our support for candidates for office. By that standard, this Governor has earned our strongest endorsement. From his work on Detroit’s bankruptcy to removing barriers to greater collaboration between local governments, he has demonstrated a pragmatic, results-oriented approach to governing.  He works collaboratively to identify solutions such as his recent work on finding options for fixing Michigan’s roads and infrastructure.” 

After careful consideration, Business Leaders for Michigan’s PAC made the endorsement of Governor Snyder based on his strong track record and input from PAC Board members. The PAC Board of Directors regularly meets to identify and support candidates and policies that support BLM’s public policy priorities and includes Michael J. Jandernoa, Co-Chair, Albert M. Berriz, McKinley CEO and BLM PAC Co-Chair, Cynthia Pasky and  William U. Parfet, Chairman, President & CEO, MPI Research.

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