Michigan Chamber of Commerce Announces Legislative Priorities for 2005-2006

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced today its legislative priorities for the 2005-2006 legislative session. These priorities were reviewed and approved January 18th by the Michigan Chamber's 87-member Board of Directors, which consists of business leaders from throughout the state.

Job providers were directly involved in establishing the Michigan Chamber's 2005-2006 legislative priorities which address 10 issue areas: education quality; energy; environmental quality; health care; human resources; lawsuit abuse; school restructuring; taxes; technology & telecommunications; and transportation.

"The Michigan Chamber represents over 6,500 job providers throughout the state who work everyday in their communities to provide good jobs for employees and better products and services for their customers," said Morrall Claramunt, Chair of the Michigan Chamber's Board of Directors and Executive Vice President & Secretary of Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company in Frankenmuth, Michigan. "The Chamber's legislative priorities for 2005-2006 are intended to help lawmakers and administration officials continue to build on the progress we've made during the past few years to strengthen and diversify Michigan's economy."

"In 2004 the Michigan Chamber conducted a benchmark membership survey in which members were asked to identify which economic issues should be a top priority for the Michigan legislature," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Jim Barrett. "A substantial majority of Chamber members surveyed identified four high priority issues: attracting new jobs and business; making health care more affordable; keeping taxes down; and handling the state budget deficit."

The Michigan Chamber's legislative priorities are not intended to be a catalog of the Chamber's position on every important issue that might come up over the next two years. Rather, they are intended to communicate to businesspeople, the news media, the legislature and administration what state government's top legislative and regulatory priorities should be to encourage job creation and economic growth.

"The voting record of State Senators and State Representatives on these priorities and other key issues that may emerge over the next two years will become the Chamber's 2005-2006 Job Providers Index, the Chamber's main basis for determining legislative campaign endorsements," explained Bob LaBrant, Senior Vice President of Political Affairs and General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. "Any legislator seeking re-election to the same office who has a 75 percent or better voting record with the Michigan Chamber will be eligible to receive an earned endorsement for election in 2006."

The Michigan Chamber's 2005-2006 legislative priorities are available on the Chamber's web site at: http://www.michamber.com/ . A printed booklet of the Michigan Chamber's legislative priorities will be available later this month. For a copy of the booklet, contact Betty McNerney, Director of Communications at (517) 371-7663 or via email at: bmcnerney@michamber.com .

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business organization which represents approximately 6,500 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process.

SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Jim Barrett, Chamber President, or Rich Studley, Senior V.P.,
Gov't Relations of Michigan Chamber of Commerce, +1-517-371-2100

Web site: http://www.michamber.com/