Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
News & Press: FOCUS

Local and State Government Financial Health Tops Chamber 2018 Advocacy Agenda

Friday, February 2, 2018  
Share |

Chamber policy committee also cites regional collaboration, career technical education, tax environment and ballot initiatives as priorities

The continued deliberations over the financial health of both local and state government will remain a priority focus for the Lansing Regional Chamber government relations team in 2018. The Chamber’s policy committee also identified five other priority initiatives in 2018, including; regional cooperation, career technical education, tax environment, ballot initiatives and education reform.

Financial health of local government has been a key focus of the Chamber for several years. The City of Lansing has more than $600 million dollars in unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities. The Chamber has been working closely with Financial Health teams in both Lansing and East Lansing.

“We can’t realize our full potential as a region until we restore our local units of government to full financial health, which is why our work with the Financial Health Teams is so critical,” said Steve Japinga, director of government relations for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It is imperative that we adopt policies that are fiscally responsible and encourage business investment and job creation so that we can grow our region.”

The Chamber also worked closely with Governor Snyder and the state legislature to pass the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force recommendations. The legislation will:

  • Require local units of government to thoroughly report financial information including funding of pension and retiree health care plans.
  • The Treasury department will then evaluate plans to determine which are underfunded.
  • The Treasurer will give waivers to communities with underfunded pensions if they have approved plans to rectify the situation.
  • Creates a "Municipal Stability Board."

“This package is a big step in the right direction and is aligned with our own initiative regarding local government health,” said Japinga. “The Chamber will continue to provide leadership in working on positive solutions for municipalities in the Greater Lansing region."

Click here to download the February issue of FOCUS.

This Month's E-Chamber Connect Sponsors

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal