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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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On May 5, Let's Fix the Roads!

On May 5: Let's Fix the Roads!

Tomorrow is Election Day, and we all have an opportunity to start fixing Michigan's crumbling road system.

Just two weeks ago, a national transportation research group released its report on our roads. No surprise, it detailed the rapidly deteriorating condition of Michigan's roads and the need for significantly more funding in order to repair them.

According to the report, 38% of Michigan's major roads are in poor condition (up from 23% in 2006), 45% are in fair condition, and only 17% are in good condition. Is that what we want for our families and businesses?

Proposal 1 would raise $1.2 billion a year for Michigan's roads by making sure that what we pay at the pump goes to our transportation needs. We'll finally see our crumbling pavement restored and bridges repaired. If Proposal 1 fails, we'll continue to shortchange our state transportation system by relying on unsustainable one-time fixes and risking our safety and future economic competitiveness.

Consider this: Not only do Michigan drivers pay on average $539 each year to fix their rims, tires and struts, but we also pay every time a prospective new job provider decides against locating here because of our poor roads. If Michigan is going to remain prosperous, we have to make it easier for businesses to get their products and services to market.

We need to get serious about making some guarantees to the people of our state. With Proposal 1:

  • Every penny paid at the pump in state gas taxes is constitutionally guaranteed to fund transportation.
  • Road builders would have to provide warranties on the roads they build so taxpayers are not forced to pay for improper repairs.
  • Every penny in the School Aid Fund is constitutionally guaranteed for K¬-12 schools and community colleges.

Recent news about Proposal 1:

MLive: Vote Yes on Proposal 1 for Better Michigan Roads, Schools and Cities

Detroit Free Press: For Safety's Sake, Vote Yes on Proposal 1

Detroit News: Vote Yes on Prop 1

Lansing State Journal: Passing Proposal 1 is Best for Michigan


BLM supports Proposal 1:  Proposal 1 is right for our state. The state can't simply siphon current funding from education, health care, public safety, local communities and other critical services to pay for roads. It's time to invest properly in our roads and bridges, keep our state competitive and make safety a priority.
Learn more about the facts of Proposal 1 from the Safe Roads Yes! Coalition. The election is on Tuesday and polls are open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.



BUSINESS LEADERS ECONOMIC REPORT: In Short-and Long-Term, Job Leaders Continue to be More Optimistic about MI Economy than U.S. Economy

DETROIT, Mich., April 21, 2015 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, projects that the Michigan economy will continue to grow and outperform the U.S. economy in the next 6 to 18 months. 

“The good news from this survey is that Michigan’s largest employers continue to be much more optimistic about Michigan’s short- and long-term economic prospects than they were a couple of years ago,“ said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO.  “Job providers continue to be bullish on the state and are backing it up with increased hiring and investment.  Nearly half of Business Leaders for Michigan companies are forecasting increased investment in Michigan over the next six months.”  

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Leveraging MI’s Most Valuable Assets

BLM New Michigan Summit leaders: “Opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them”

LANSING, Mich., March 26, 2015 — Nearly 500 Michigan business and policy leaders convened in  Lansing today to explore the state’s most promising economic growth opportunities.

Hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the third annual Building a New Michigan Leadership Summit offered projections, data, and strategies for accelerating Michigan’s economy. 

“Michigan has natural assets and strengths capable of driving long-term job, income and GDP growth,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “But these opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them in smart, aggressive ways. We’re in a fast-paced global race for economic leadership. We must maximize every opportunity we have if we’re going to win.”

Rothwell highlighted his organization’s latest report on each of six key opportunity areas identified in the Michigan Turnaround Plan’s New Michigan strategy as having the best potential to create good paying jobs in the state.  “Michigan can be a global leader, but we have to aggressively build upon our strengths,” Rothwell said.  “As a Top Ten competitor, our state stands to gain 230,000 more jobs, $14,000 more in average annual earnings, and $36,500 more in per capita GDP. We can’t afford not to get serious about each of these opportunities.”

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On May 5, Let's Fix the Roads with Proposal 1!

Imagine you're driving up I-75 from Ohio, and you cross the border. You see the beautiful blue sign welcoming you to Michigan, and suddenly the smooth road beneath your wheels gives way to a crumbling, tooth-rattling mess. Is this really what we want "Pure Michigan" to mean to our families, our tourists, or worst of all--the job providers thinking about locating here? 
Of course not.  That is why Proposal 1 on the May Election ballot is so important. It provides a dedicated source of funding to fix our roads now and in the future. Proposal 1 would guarantee an additional $1.2 billion to make MI's roads and bridges safer. 
Proposal 1 has three strong guarantees:
  • Every penny you pay at the pump in state gas taxes is constitutionally guaranteed to fund transportation.
  • Roadbuilders would have to provide warranties on the roads they build, so taxpayers aren't forced to pay for improper repairs.
  • Every penny in the School Aid Fund is constitutionally guaranteed for K-12 schools and community colleges.
BLM's position: Other states around us invest far more in their roads than we do and it shows. 
Businesses thinking of locating here take the condition of our roads into account as they consider how to move their products and ideas to market. We need to make sure our roads are safe, strong for our families and capable of supporting our businesses and the economy we want. The May Ballot Proposal is about making our roads safe and requiring those that fix our roads to guarantee their work. BLM supports Proposal 1.




MI Universities Outperforming U.S. Peers in Key Categories

Efforts to control costs and increase access continue

DETROIT, Mich., February 26, 2015 Performance data for each of Michigan’s 15 public universities, released online today by Business Leaders for Michigan, shows the state’s higher education sector is performing better than most peers in producing talent while working to control costs and increase access.

The Michigan Performance Tracker for Public Universities reports on about 30 different metrics that measure productivity and efficiency, affordability and access, and economic impact. 

Visitors to the Performance Tracker can see exactly how much Michigan invests in its public universities compared to other states as well as how Michigan’s universities compare to peer universities in other states on graduation rates, degrees awarded in critical skills areas (including science, technology, engineering and math), and the cost of attendance. 

Data available in the dashboard shows that most Michigan universities receive less state appropriations but generally out-perform their national peers.

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