LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Roger Victory’s legislation as part of a plan to make Michigan more competitive for new investment and jobs.
“The Make it in Michigan Plan would create a responsible and accountable system for winning the competition for new opportunities and investment for the good people of our state,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Unlike past programs, every dollar in this plan is budgeted in advance, businesses must make written commitments to create long-term jobs in our state before they receive any funding, and companies that fail to fulfill their agreement would be held accountable with strict repayment provisions.
“Also, unlike previous and current practices, our plan features reporting requirements that enable the Legislature to ensure businesses are meeting their end of the deal and that taxpayer dollars are being responsibly used.”
Senate Bill 769 would create the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). The SOAR fund would receive funds through a legislative appropriation. Funds from SOAR would be transferred into the Critical Industry Fund (CIF) or Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Fund (MSSRF).
SB 770 would create the MSSRF to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance for eligible applicants to conduct eligible activities to create investment-ready sites.
Victory’s bill, SB 771, would create the CIF, which would provide funds for qualified investments to qualified businesses for deal-closing, gap financing, or other economic assistance that create new qualified jobs and/or make capital investments (not for administrative purposes).
LEO must transmit reports on each of the three funds to each legislator, the governor, the clerk of the House, the secretary of the Senate, and the Senate and House fiscal agencies by March 15 of each year. If the report is not transmitted by March 15, no dollars from the unreported fund may be disbursed until the report has been transmitted.
“One example of lost opportunities is a Leprino Foods expansion. The company has a production facility in Ottawa County, but Michigan lost out on a dairy processing investment and hundreds of jobs that went to Texas instead,” Victory said. “While I’m a farmer by trade, I don’t want to see a time when agriculture is the only major industry in Michigan.”