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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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Entries in Michigan Legislature (4)


Letter to Michigan Legislative leaders about road funding plans 

July 13, 2015

The Honorable Arlan Meekhof                                   
Senate Majority Leader
Michigan State Senate
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI  48909    

The Honorable Kevin Cotter
Speaker of the House
Michigan House of Representatives
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909                                     

The Honorable Jim Ananich                                                                           
Senate Minority Leader                                          
Michigan State Senate                                             
P.O. Box 30036                                                       
Lansing, MI  48909                                                 

The Honorable Tim Greimel
House Minority Leader
Michigan House of Representatives
P.O.Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909 

Dear Leaders: 

We appreciate the work you are doing to find a long-term solution to fixing our roads.  Earlier this year, Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) established five principles to evaluate road funding proposals:

  • It should provide funding sufficient to ensure good quality road and bridge conditions;
  • It should include road and bridge warranties;
  • The funding source should be sustainable and dedicated;
  • The revenue should come from the users of our roads and bridges; and 

We have serious concerns that the House and Senate road funding proposals will not meet several of these principles, because of their heavy reliance on General Fund revenues.  While we believe some General Fund monies could be part of a final solution, relying heavily on them to fund our long-term road needs isn’t sustainable and puts other critical needs at risk – ranging from potential Medicaid shortfalls and less money for community services to higher tuition bills and weaker efforts to attract jobs.  These priorities are just as important as fixing potholes.  

We continue to believe the fairest solution is one that relies on the users of our highways to pay for their upkeep and repair – gasoline taxes, registration fees or similar revenue sources.  We urge you to pass legislation that relies more heavily on user-based sources of revenue than General Funds which fund other critical services for our citizens.  Let’s get this problem solved, but solved the right way. 


Doug Rothwell
President & CEO


cc:  The Honorable Rick Snyder, Governor
       The Honorable Brian Calley, Lieutenant Governor       
       Members of the Michigan Senate
       Members of the Michigan House of Representatives



Click here to download the letter 


Business Leaders for Michigan urges support for fiscal notes

DETROIT, Mich.  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement encouraging the Michigan Legislature to provide fiscal impact statements for all legislation.

Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO said, “The adoption of fiscal notes for all legislation has been a part of our Michigan Turnaround Plan (MTP) from the beginning. Michigan businesses, residents and municipalities deserve to know how every piece of proposed legislation could affect them.

“One of the objectives of the MTP is to create an attractive and competitive environment for job providers to start or grow a business. Adopting fiscal notes for pending and enacted legislation is a piece of that puzzle, and a good step towards reducing future financial uncertainty and strengthening Michigan’s fiscal stability.

“We encourage members of the Michigan House and Senate to take a look at the new report issued by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan on this topic, which provides insight into how our fiscal agencies could provide this critical information.”

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan Report, The Cost of Legislation: Expanding Michigan's Fiscal Notes can be found at

The Michigan Turnaround Plan can be accessed at

Download the statement 


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.


Legislature Passes Sensible Benefit Reform

Check off another Turnaround Plan objective as being accomplished – requiring school & local government employees to pay 20% towards their health care benefits.  Beginning January of 2012, public employers are required to cap the employer share of employee health care costs at $5,500 per individual, $11,000 per individual and spouse, and $15,000 per family.  Alternatively, it allows employers to cap employer share of employee health care coverage at 80% of total annual costs.  These requirements will apply to state legislators, local government, and public school employers.  Collective bargaining agreements currently in place would remain unaffected, but the new requirements would apply upon expiration.  

This is sensible reform.  Most public school employees pay 0-10% towards their health benefits and many local government workers pay less than Michigan state employees who pay about 17% and private sector workers who pay at least 20%.  The legislation allows time to notify employees of the changes, reflects differences in health plan design and respects collective bargaining agreements already in place.  

Public sector workers deserve to be paid fairly for the good work they do.  These reforms were fair for taxpayers and government workers alike.