January 2020 Edition
On Point Policy...
Legislative Segmenting

We know that you may be more interested in specific topics, and we want to deliver the most relevant information to you. So, we have created a survey to allow you to check the areas of activity you want. This is our way of ensuring that you stay on top of those issues and policies that most affect you and your business.

Below you will find the link to our survey.
LOCAL UPDATES
Bay Area
United Bridge Partners, renamed Bay City Bridge Partners for local project

In a recent interview, Project Delivery Director Kevin Bischel and Vice President of Construction and Operations Kenneth Szeliga answered questions that have been echoing through the community.

To have your questions answered regarding Bay City Bridge Partners and the upcoming construction click here .
$1 million Lake Huron reef restoration project will generate $30 million annually

The new reef will help restore ecological balance in the Saginaw Bay leading to an increase in the recreation fishing industry.

´╗┐Click here to learn more about the restoration project.
CALL TO ACTION:

Bangor Township residents are in need of help. High water levels continue to rise and the township has run out of sandbags to create barriers between their homes and the waters.

Donations are currently being sought to purchase sandbags to help stop the incoming water.

If you would like to donate please send a check to:
Bangor Charter Township Office
180 State Park Drive
Bay City, MI 48706
Saginaw County
Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Announces Position on Saginaw County Ballot Proposals

On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, the people of Saginaw County will go to the polls to vote on countywide ballot proposals. Additionally, the people within the City of Saginaw will vote on city-specific proposals. The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to support three proposals, two for the County and one proposal for the City.
Saginaw County Proposal 20-1 is a renewal request for .2942 mills for Saginaw County Parks & Recreation. This is a six year millage proposal. Funds will continue to support 6 full time staff and 35 seasonal staff, maintenance of all seven parks and trails, programming and capital development. The Board of Directors voted to SUPPORT Saginaw County Proposal 20-1.
Saginaw County Proposal 20-2 is a renewal and increase for .450 mills for the Saginaw County Event Center. The funds will be used to continue Event Center operations and improve deteriorating infrastructure. If improvements are not made to the Saginaw County Event Center, Saginaw will lose a driving force in the downtown resurgence, one that generates both commerce and tourism. The Board of Directors voted to SUPPORT Saginaw County Proposal 20-2.
Saginaw County Proposal 1 is a renewal of 7.5 mills for the City of Saginaw Police and Fire Services Special Assessment. The funds will continue to support 20 police officers and 10 firefighters in the City of Saginaw. These public safety officials will continue to reduce crime, and losing them will move the community in the wrong direction. The Board of Directors voted to SUPPORT City of Saginaw Proposal 1.
All three proposals are critical to the mission of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce and our members. We urge a YES vote on Saginaw County Proposals 20-1, 20-2 and City of Saginaw Proposal 1 on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES
State of the State Address

On Wednesday, January 30, Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave her State of State address to legislators and their guests. In her speech, she expressed her goals for 2020 and told colleagues she would do it alone if she has to.

Here are some key highlights from her speech:
  • Workforce Development: MI Reconnect is a priority
  • Education: Teaching parents how to navigate the 3rd grade reading law
  • Healthcare: Bring the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to Michigan after thrown out by the US Supreme Court
  • Roads: New bonds for road funding:
  • A $3.5 billion bond was approved by State Administrative Board on morning of January 30, 2020. This brings road funding for the next five years to $7.3 billion and includes accelerating the following projects:
  • $2.6 billion will go to Detroit Metro
  • $1.6 billion to the University area (Ingham, Livingston and Wastenaw)
  • $255 million will go to the Superior region in the Upper Peninsula

In October, when the Legislature presented the Governor a budget with many of these items, she used her executive power to veto 147 line items.

We will continue to monitor the Legislature's response and advocate aggressively for additional funding in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
FEDERAL ´╗┐GOVERNMENT UPDATES
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

On Jaunary 29, the USMCA was signed by President Donald Trump. This trade agreement is a replacement for the dated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This is a great bi-partisan victory for the United States, Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region. Our producers, farmers and manufacturers are in position to profit as US exports boosted with reduced tariff requirements. The US International Trade Commission estimates US GDP will be rise $68.2 billion (0.35%) by year six of the trade deal. 
On behalf of our members, the Bay Area and Saginaw County Chambers of Commerce will continue to monitor public policy that impacts our region, our communities and most importantly--your business!
Any questions or concerns contact Director of Government Affairs Madison Clements: madison@thesaginawbay.com