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A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022 

A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022  3|A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022 |A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022  1|A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022  2

Chamber advocacy supports businesses of all sizes as we work to create a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all. Below are the significant accomplishments the Chamber Government Affairs Team achieved in 2022.   

 

A Vibrant Business Climate

We are focused on the ease of doing business, advocating to minimize burdensome regulations and eliminating barriers to employment while supporting an inclusive workplace for all.  

$4.8 Billion Budget Supplemental Signed 

  • $2B to Address Critical Water Infrastructure Needs  
  • $645M in Infrastructure Improvements 
  • $55 million is dedicated to expanding the Grand River Greenway into Kent County and Grand Rapids 
  • $250M for Broadband Expansion 
  • $654M to Housing Improvements 
  • $133M to Strengthen Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance System 

Social Districts Made Permanent & Development District Liquor Licenses 

  • Social Districts createdA Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022  1 a lifeline for restaurants and bars to stay open during the pandemic. HB 5090 made them permanent this year.  
  • HB 5062 clarified that businesses that invest in in a downtown development district or corridor improvement district can also qualify for liquor licenses.

Michigan Votes Yes on Term Limit Reform and Financial Disclosure 

  • The Chamber supported this good government reform to move Michigan forward.  

 

A Talented Michigan

Our economic success depends on a strong education and talent system to stay competitive. 

Child Care Access Grows 

  • Child Care providers received over $700 Million in grants to help stabilize operations and support the health and safety of children and staff. 
  • A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022 Nearly 6,000 child care programs receive funding through the three rounds of Child Care Stabilization Grants  
  • FY23 budget includes an ongoing appropriation of $2.5M for Tri-Share
  • Kent County gained a Tri-Share Facilitator Hub
  • Chamber-Led Child Care Legislation Signed by Governor 
  • House Bills 5041 through 5048 address much needed common-sense regulatory reforms, as well as provide targeted supply building in the child care system.  

A record $18.4 billion investment in education – the highest in Michigan’s history. This includes a $580M per-pupil funding increase, as well as a $222 million increase in at risk funding  

The Going PRO Talent Fund and Michigan Reconnect programs both receive record appropriations at $55M each. 

Financial literacy requirement written into law for high school students

 

A Place to Call Home

West Michigan leads the state in population and job growth. Our success has created new challenges, including increasing concerns over housing availability and affordability. We’re focused on making the Grand Rapids-area a place anyone can call home. 

Housing Next partnered with Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation to grow a best-practice, Ottawa County program into a regional leader in creating new housing at all price points.  

A Year of Impact: Top Advocacy Achievements of 2022  2

Bipartisan Housing Michigan legislation, led by the Chamber, was sent to Governor Whitmer to create new locally-driven workforce housing tools.

Kent County invests $17.5M into a new housing revolving loan fund that will be an asset to support attainable housing for decades.  

Chamber supported $600M Grand Rapids City Commission budget was unanimously adopted including items such as housing, homeless outreach, mental health co-response and other public safety commitments, and much more.  

Kent County Commission approved more than $108M to fund 30 projects from its $127M in allocated American Rescue Plan Act Funds. $500k was set aside for Housing Next’s work for local zoning reforms that support housing at a variety of price points. Grants to local governments will help cover their costs associated with this important process.  

Organized support for Grand Rapids WhiteWater in final permitting phase with EGLE.

West Michigan Received $60M for Wastewater Pipeline Project   

  • The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved a Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based $60M grant to build a wastewater pipeline from the Coopersville to the Muskegon County facility.  
     

Critical Issues for a Competitive West Michigan in 2023

Every year hundreds of Chamber members volunteer their time to set priorities and direct our advocacy efforts through issues committees and council. 

On December 6, the Chamber Board approved the 2023-2024 priorities.  Our core focus remains:  

  • A vibrant business climate 
  • A talented Michigan 
  • A place to call home

Click here to view the 2023 priorities that will move West Michigan business forward.  

 

Do you want to get engaged in setting Chamber Government Affairs priorities? Contact Government Affairs Manager, Katie Doyen at katie@grandrapids.org 

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