Capital Connection Newsletter: Oct. 11, 2021
In This Issue:
- What’s Going on in Congress
- Michigan State Budget Signed
- Lansing City Pulse – The Jobs Issue
- Michigan Sees Strong Q2 Growth
What’s Going on in Congress
Currently, Congress is debating whether to tie two separate pieces of legislation, the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill, together or not.
The LRCC has been working closely with the U.S. Chamber to advocate for the infrastructure bill and oppose the reconciliation bill. Below is a snapshot of what is occurring from Neil Bradly, executive vice president and chief policy office, U.S. Chamber.
From the U.S. Chamber: Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer, U.S. Chamber, appeared on C-SPAN to discuss the infrastructure and reconciliation bills before Congress.
We support the bipartisan infrastructure bill: “The Chamber is a strong supporter of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that invests trillions of dollars in our roads, bridges, broadband, and replacing lead water pipes. That bill got 69 bipartisan votes in the Senate. It was supposed to get a standalone vote in the House of Representatives last week. We want to see that bill pass,” Bradley said.
Why it matters: “We supported it because America is long overdue in making investments in our infrastructure, whether it’s congestion on our highways, potholes on our city streets, the lack of rural broadband for millions of Americans across the United States, or we still have lead pipes that bring water into people’s homes, schools and daycare centers that are poisoning them. It’s good for America, good for American families and it deserves to become law,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer. U.S. Chamber.
We oppose the reconciliation bill: “Whether we’re talking about $2 trillion or $3.5 trillion, you’re talking about a record level of government spending,” Bradley said. “That’s going to contribute to inflation, higher prices for consumers, and it’s partially funded by punitive taxes, both on investors, on small businesses, and midsize and large businesses in a way that we believe will destroy the current economic recovery.”
“We need to get America back working again. We need to get control of inflation. This bill would take us in the exact opposite direction,” said Bradley.
We absolutely oppose linking the two bills: “The President and the Democratic leadership sought to link the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the partisan tax and spend reconciliation bill. We oppose that linkage, and we’re not going to change our position on reconciliation just because of our support for infrastructure,” Bradley said.
Bottom line: “I hope that the President and the Democratic leadership come to realize that linking to these two bills only means that nothing gets done–that we don’t replace those lead water pipes or fix those deteriorating bridges,” Bradley warned.
Michigan State Budget Signed
Gov. Whitmer signed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 state budget, which began on Oct. 1. The total state budget, which includes the K-12 school aid budget, is $70B. Several key investment areas were important to LRCC members, including talent and workforce development initiatives such as Michigan Reconnect, Going PRO, and Futures for Frontliners.
LRCC staff will be providing more in-depth detail on the state budget, specifically on member policy priority areas and why these items are essential to your business. The state budget bills are available to read below.
Lansing City Pulse – The Jobs Issue
The Lansing City Pulse recently focused their publication on the employment issues facing several businesses across the Greater Lansing region. The Lansing City Pulse Jobs Issue can be found online.
The Lansing City Pulse issue also featured an article written by Steve Japinga, vice president, public affairs, LRCC, focused on building a talent pipeline in Michigan. The article is available to read below.
Long-term solutions depend on building a ‘talent pipeline’
Michigan Sees Strong Q2 Growth
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its state-by-state 2021 Q2 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers showing Michigan at 8.3% growth – the third highest in the nation and the best in the Midwest.
“This is great news for our state as we continue our strong economic recovery,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO, LRCC. “This data supports the resiliency of our business community, workforce and strong economic climate.”
In addition to the GDP numbers from the BEA, Michigan’s unemployment rate is below the national average and has been on a downward trajectory for the last 17-month period since May 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, personal income was up 19.1%, the fourth-highest nationwide. Both Moody’s and S&P improved the state’s credit rating outlook. And the state turned a projected $3 billion deficit into a $3.5 billion surplus. Michigan remains a top ten state to do business and still boasts the strongest automotive manufacturing nationwide.