With the Election Over, it's Time to Get Back to Work on State's Economic Challenges, Says The Michigan Chamber of Commerce

With the 2008 election now behind us, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce today is calling on Governor Granholm and the State Legislature to return to Lansing next week and get to work on the economic challenges facing our state.

"Throughout the recent campaign, Michigan voters expressed their concern about jobs and the economy and there was a healthy debate on how to move Michigan forward," said Rich Studley, President & CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. "It's time for Governor Granholm and state lawmakers to return to Lansing and get back to work on improving Michigan's business climate and economic competitiveness."

"With only a few session days left before the end of the calendar year, there are four key issues that remain at the top of the Michigan Chamber's 2008 business agenda," noted Jim Holcomb, Vice President of Business Advocacy & Associate General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. "These agenda items are: eliminate the Michigan Business Tax surcharge; support greater accountability and excellence in education; maintain a stable and predictable legal climate; and improve Michigan's transportation system."

"Before the election, a bi-partisan majority of the Michigan Senate voted in favor of legislation to eliminate the 22 percent surcharge and solve other problems with the new Michigan Business Tax," said Tricia Kinley, Director of Tax & Budget Policy for the Michigan Chamber. "We call upon the State House to take up these bills -- in particular, Senate Bill 1038 -- and also pass the cost-saving reforms to pay for this much needed MBT relief."

"Earlier this year, the State House passed a bill to water down new requirements for high school graduation before these standards have been fully implemented," noted Jim Sandy, Executive Director of the Michigan Business Leaders for Education Excellence, a program of the Michigan Chamber Foundation. "We stand with Governor Granholm and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in support of education excellence and urge the Michigan Senate to reject the House proposal.

"While we are disappointed with the outcome of the Michigan Supreme Court race, the Michigan Chamber remains strongly committed to maintaining a stable and predictable legal climate in Michigan," said Bob LaBrant, Senior Vice President of Political Affairs & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber.

"A bi-partisan state task force will soon issue a comprehensive report on Michigan's transportation needs and alternative methods of funding," said Studley. "We urge the House and Senate to give serious consideration to this key economic development issue."

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business advocacy organization representing over 7,100 employers, trade associations, and local chambers of commerce. In 2009, the Michigan Chamber will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Chamber holds the distinction of being one of only four state chambers of commerce accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Rich Studley or Jim Holcomb, both of Michigan Chamber of
Commerce, +1-517-371-2100

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